Crime

Kendall Elementary briefly locked down following hoax threat

Kendall Elementary went on lockdown Thursday afternoon, May 7, after the school received a call from a computer-generated voice that threatened to harm the children.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said the school received the call, which deputies believe to be a hoax, in the afternoon from a female-sounding automated voice.

Elfo said the voice indicated they intended to shoot up the school, kill as many children as possible and commit suicide.

“It’s people being malicious and trying to disrupt the school, trying to terrorize the children and trying to pull law enforcement resources away from where they’re otherwise needed,” Elfo said.

Law enforcement flooded the area to protect the school, which immediately went on lockdown around 2 p.m. Classes carried on until students were released at 3:30 p.m., said Mount Baker School District Superintendent Charles Burleigh.

“Mount Baker staff cares deeply about their students and when something comes up that is a safety issue, it’s a group of people that rally together, and I’m proud of our Mount Baker staff,” Burleigh said.

Similar calls have been received by other schools in Washington in the last couple months, including in Pacific, Thurston and Spokane counties. The Juneau Empire has reported that several schools in Alaska recently received phone threats from an automated voice.

“There does seem to be something going on here,” Burleigh said.

The source of the call was being investigated Thursday.

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