JFK Middle School Endures Bomb Scare

JFK Middle School Endures Bomb Scare

No one ever expects it to happen to us. But it does. December 13, 2018, the Bethpage Middle School was one of many that received a bomb threat.

It was just a normal day here at BHS: teachers were lecturing, and we were (hopefully) listening. Or so we thought…

By the end of that day, JFK received a frightening bomb scare provoking the evacuation of staff and students, who all migrated to the high school. The whole school walked .5 miles in around 33℉ weather and were housed in the gym, nervously talking about what happened. Rumors flew.

Later, intrepid reporters found out that it was a national blackmail email. In the email, the sender wrote that someone was walking around in the building with an explosive device loaded with lead azide. According to https://phys.org/, lead azide is a toxic, highly carcinogenic component. The email terrorized that the only way to prevent the bomb from detonating would be if JFK to transfer $20,000 through BitCoin.

According to BHS principal Mr. Jantz, “We have to take everything seriously and that was why we implemented our plan. We had worked closely with the homeland security and they began to evacuate… We had almost two thousand kids in the building.”

In addition, as part of a NY state public school, we require plans for every possible scenario. Mr. Jantz added that previously, “all of our plans were set up and approved by New York State. We had the local police view our plan, homeland police, and every aspect was checked by authorities way beforehand.”

Mrs. Cross, a parent of students in both the middle school and the high school, said, “I was a bit surprised that JFK got a bomb threat, but I was confident that the school would handle it, because there was nothing that I could do about it.” Her daughter handled it fine, but “did not know what was going on until everyone was at the high school” and she was surrounded by a couple of kids crying.

In essence, Mr. Jantz concluded, “just like when the power was out, one thing I learned was the students, staff and teachers were awesome and supportive during these things, allowing us to implement our plan safely. The most important thing in these situations is that no one gets hurt, and we can soon go about our day.”

Unfortunately, as of now, there is no lead as to who sent the disruptive email, causing chaos nationwide. However, the school’s biggest takeaway, via Mr. Jantz, was that “we take every threat seriously, students and staff are paramount, and emergency plans work by the state. We work very closely with homeland security, so that we can ensure the safety of all.”

It’s upsetting that we live in a society in which this is a reality, however it is relieving that we are prepared and can handle these circumstances in the most efficient, safe and cautious manner.