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  • Effective: 1/25/1972

  1. Board Policy
    Recognizing the need for a procedure to be followed in the case of a bomb threat, the Board directs the Administration to implement a program which will meet bomb threat situations as they arise, in order that the maximum safety of all students and personnel will be assured.
  2. Administration Policy
    The Administration will implement the Board policy in accordance with the following guidelines:

    1. A detailed plan for meeting a bomb threat shall be developed. It shall be disseminated at least to all faculty members and administrative personnel. Because the threat may be voiced to them, secretaries and office personnel shall have specific directives for gaining full information from a caller, for relaying the threat to proper authorities, and for securing telephone company assistance in tracing the call. The plan shall include clear procedures for evacuating the school buildings, for searching the premises, and for the resumption of classes. In most situations, the plan will best utilize a fire drill procedure to clear buildings, thereby avoiding the panic that identifying a bomb threat may cause. Where intercoms or public address systems are available, a code word given to teachers may distinguish between bomb threats and fire drills.
    2. Principals shall not ignore bomb threats on the assumption that they are mere pranks, because publicity may encourage more threats, or because elaborate precautions, including evacuation of buildings and thorough search, play into the hands of disrupters. In a formal plan, a principal or other responsible authority must be given some latitude for the exercise of good judgment. If the nature of a call or message is such that he is positive no immediate danger threatens, there shall be the option of a quiet, unannounced survey before a decision is made to evacuate a building or dismiss school.
      1. The power of suggestion is such that undue publicity or sensationalized reporting tends to perpetuate or multiply bomb threats.
      2. It is possible and often desirable to play down or even to eliminate coverage of threats.
    3. A phone call to a school or elsewhere stating that a bomb has been placed in a school house or other Board of Education building, where the caller hangs up without giving detailed information may be classed a hoax or prank. It may have been to harass school personnel, students, or other public employees who may be dispatched to the school as a result of the call. An individual having information regarding a bomb and communicating such information to a responsible school official should be willing to give full and unhurried information and answer questions.
      1. Upon receipt of a phone call by school personnel, where the caller reports a bomb in the building, the following procedure may be employed:
        1. The person receiving such a call shall inform the caller, "I'll connect you with the principal."
        2. Whenever possible, the school principal will question the caller and attempt to determine: (1) location of bomb, (2) appearance of bomb package, (3) time set for detonation, (4) description of the explosive material, (5) name and address of caller, (6) other pertinent information.
        3. If the caller refuses to talk to the principal, the person receiving the call will immediately and personally notify the principal and give all information regarding the call.
      2. The school principal will evaluate the information received and decide upon the course of action (depending upon whether he judges it to be: (a) possible false threat, (b) possible real bomb in building.
    4. Possible False Bomb Threat (Procedure)
      1. Have the head custodian and all non-teaching administrators and supervisors report to the principal's office at once for instructions.
        1. The head custodian shall be instructed to use his subordinates in conducting a search of the building without disrupting classes in session. Detailed instructions to the custodian are to be reviewed in advance to conserve time when the threat occurs.
        2. All other non-teaching personnel are to be assigned familiar areas to search.
        3. By pre-arranged signal, all teachers are to scan their rooms (not a detailed search--do not disrupt or dismiss classes).
      2. All school personnel assigned to searching are to report their findings to the principal within 20 minutes after receiving such detail. Assign search areas to knowledgeable people and limit size to 20 minute capability.
      3. Strange objects (possible bombs) are not to be moved. If they are located in a classroom or other occupied area, the room and immediate adjacent rooms are to be evacuated at once and will not be used again until someone in authority can examine and rule on the strange object. These rooms or areas may be reoccupied as soon as the object is declared safe or after it has been removed to a safe location.
      4. Strange objects that may be an explosive bomb should be handled only by experienced public officials, such as (members of the) fire department, police division, civil defense, military, or other explosive bomb disposal experts.
      5. Whenever a possible bomb is discovered, the police and fire department are to be notified at once so they may dispatch personnel to the scene to render advice and assistance.
    5. Possible Real Bomb in Building (Procedure)
      In any case where the school principal feels that the "bomb in building" report is valid, in view of the willingness of the informer to give detailed, convincing information, the principal shall proceed as outlined below. This procedure is also to be followed when an object suspected of being explosive (a bomb) is discovered.

      1. If evacuation of the building is in his/her judgment the proper procedure, he/she should follow fire drill instructions and procedure. Both the police division and fire department should be called if the school is evacuated. The additional manpower will shorten the search.
      2. School personnel (teachers, administrators, counselors, supervisors, custodians, and all other school employees from the school) may be used to search areas familiar to them. The best and quickest search is made by people familiar with normal objects and conditions in their work area.
      3. Suspected objects should be left to the experts to evaluate, handle, and process. The school employee's responsibility ends when his/her search produces a suspected object. He/she reports his/her findings and moves to a safe distance.
      4. All pertinent instructions listed under "D, Possible False Bomb Threat (Procedures)" are to be followed when a real bomb is discovered or one is believed to be in the building.
      5. Try to eliminate publicity and discussion so as to avoid spreading the idea to others.
      6. The assistant principal, teacher-in-charge during the principal's absence, secretary, and custodian should be informed of these plans.
      7. Teachers and all other school employees should be briefed on their assignments, so that they may respond calmly when a threat develops.
      8. These procedures should be treated confidentially. Please do not post on bulletin board, but keep in a folder accessible to those who need to be acquainted with them.
      9. Since calls (bomb threats) are likely to be committed by a prankster, evacuating in every instance may encourage such individuals to repeat these nuisances. Each bomb threat call must be evaluated and an appropriate response determined by the person in charge of the school.
      10. No report of a bomb in the building should be ignored. The minimum response must be no less than a search by appropriate school employees followed by a report to indicated people.
      11. Remain calm as you follow through with the predetermined plan. Review the procedure monthly and have a dry run at least twice a year.
    6. Telephone Threat
      School personnel receiving a telephoned bomb threat should attempt to engage the caller in a conversation in which the following questions are asked:

      1. Where is the bomb located?
      2. When will it explode?
      3. Listen for possible background noises; i.e., juke box, other people, etc. Was the caller calm or hysterical? Was any type of accent apparent in the caller's voice? Could it be determined whether the caller was a young person?
    7. Miscellaneous Suggestions
      1. One measure for reducing the frequency of bomb threats has proven effective: publicize a policy that all school time lost will be made up at a later date.
      2. In instances of repeated and continuing threats, school officials may wish to publicize the fact that lengthy jail sentences can be imposed on convicted offenders. (In some jurisdictions the crime is a misdemeanor; in others, a felony; check on state laws with your legal advisor.)
      3. Some schools have increased their security forces considerably in the face of bomb threats. Others have trained a volunteer staff, including faculty and students, for supportive surveillance of buildings.
      4. Where threats are repeated, classroom buildings may be searched every morning before classes and may be locked when classes end.
      5. Possible places of concealment such as lockers and closed wastebaskets have been removed as far as it is practicable.