WAREHAM (CBS/AP) — Heavily-armed police were sweeping Wareham Public Schools Monday after an email was sent to an administrator which threatened students’ safety.
Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh said the “very specific” anonymous email said there may be a gunman in one of the district’s schools, but did not say which.
He said the email came from someone claiming to be inside one of the buildings.
Chief Walsh said Monday afternoon that he was confident there was no threat.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Wareham High School, Wareham Middle School, and the Minot Forest Elementary School, all of which had summer school and other educational activities occurring today, have been evacuated and are being searched by police,” Wareham Police said in a statement.
School buildings were placed on lockdown while police searched them.
Roughly 470 students were evacuated from all three schools, with 80-100 students at the high school, 200-300 at the middle school, and 60-70 were at the elementary school.
Massachusetts State Police said troopers along with the bomb squad, Air Wing, and STOP team, SEMLEC and Cape Cod SWAT teams, and Wareham Police were responding to the threat. State Police tweeted that no threats were located and they cleared the area later Monday afternoon.
“We understand that the large police presence may be alarming to some, but our number one priority is that the children and school officials are safe, and we do not take any chances when it comes to that,” Chief Walsh said in a release.
The district superintendent said school will go on tomorrow, with Chief Walsh adding that the department will be sending officers to the school as another precaution.
Students present at the school Monday were attending the first day of summer school classes and a basketball camp.
They were transported by bus–escorted by Wareham Police–to the Gleason Family YMCA on Charge Pond Road, where parents or guardians with proper ID could pick them up.
“My heart definitely skipped a beat that’s for sure,” said Melissa Manamon who went to the YMCA to pick up her five-year-old son.”
It was “very nerve-wracking because they don’t release information which is understandable so you really don’t know what’s going on until you get here,” she said.
Officials are continuing to investigate and plan to prosecute whoever sent the email once they are identified.
Wareham School District is comprised of a high school, middle school, and two elementary schools.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)