The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) Police officers were dispatched Friday to all
147 District public schools in response to an Internet bomb threat
that said five devices had been planted at five schools.
The message — which was received shortly before 6 a.m
— did not specify which schools may be involved, Metropolitan
Police Department Sgt. Joe Gentile said.
"As a precautionary
measure, we have directed each district commander to send officers to
every school within their district to work with school security and
maintenance and search the schools," he said.
"It's being handled
as a local, one-time prank, and students are being kept inside under
the shelter in place policy," DCPS spokeswoman Prenell Neeley told
the Associated Press. "We're following the lead of police. According
to Neeley, police were conducting walk throughs of the buildings to
determine whether anything looked suspicious or out of place."
Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School on 21st Street in Northwest, a
single officer was at the school shortly after 9:30 a.m., as parents
dropped their children off for the start of the school day.
said it wasn't clear whether evacuations would be necessary. He said
bomb-sniffing dogs would be used if needed, and that other agencies
— including the U.S. Park Police and U.S. Capitol Police
— were ready to assist.
Government leaders responded
cautiously to the threat.
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"We don't know much right now," said Tony
Bullock, spokesman for D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "It's likely
to be a prank, but right now you have to assume that it's not."