Students were sent home from Ferndale High School on Wednesday morning, Dec. 16, after school officials discovered a bomb threat on social media.
A student received a Snapchat post that mentioned a bomb in a specific location at the school, said Ferndale Police Lt. Bill Hatchett. Once police and school officials were notified, officers swept the school gymnasium and, after determining it was safe, evacuated the students to the gymnasium before sending them home.
The student received the Snapchat threat Tuesday evening, Dec. 15, and reported the threat to school staff during first period, Hatchett said.
K-9 units were on scene and officers were sweeping through the school Wednesday afternoon before officers finished their on-site investigation just before 3 p.m. No evidence of a bomb was found, Hatchett said.
Snapchat is a video messaging application for cell phones and other devices. The source of the Ferndale threat is being investigated, Hatchett said.
“We’re just exercising the utmost caution,” said Ferndale Superintendent Linda Quinn, who said she was notified about the threat at about 8:30 a.m. Students were evacuated shortly afterward.
Students initially were told the school was conducting a drill to help evacuate the building. The district later announced that the evacuation at the high school was due to a bomb threat.
“There have been similar incidents in the Los Angeles and Seattle School districts where the threat turned out to not be credible, however, the School District and the Ferndale Police are erring on the side of caution,” according to a joint press release by the city and Ferndale School District.
No suspects have been identified in connection to the threat, Hatchett said, but police will be investigating who owns the Snapchat account that made the threat.
Vista Middle School was supposed to conduct an evacuation drill Wednesday morning, but that was unrelated to the threat at the high school and middle school students were not sent home, Quinn said.
High school classes will resume Thursday, Dec. 16. Students have been instructed to report to their fifth period class to collect any belongings left behind when the school was evacuated.