Indiana State Police said no suspicious items were found after dozens of school districts in Indiana were sent an anonymous bomb threat overnight, prompting many of those schools to call for an eLearning day or cancel classes altogether Friday.
The Noblesville Schools district was the first to confirm to FOX59/CBS4 that it was one of the school corporations that received an anonymous bomb threat via email.
The list then grew as Lebanon Community School Corporation, Marion Community Schools, and Southwestern Consolidated Schools all confirmed they were on eLearning due to the threat.
According to a representative with Noblesville Schools, the bomb threat “was sent to approximately 40 school districts throughout Indiana.”
The district said Friday afternoon that no suspicious or explosive device had been found. Noblesville school buildings have been cleared for the return of students and staff.
Center Grove Schools and Speedway Schools were among the schools to forgo eLearning and instead close for the day.
An email to Center Grove families stated “Homeland Security is investigating this situation.”
Speedway Schools Superintendent Kyle Trebley said the district was notified of a bomb threat at 6:54 a.m. “After speaking to local law enforcement and receiving a recommendation from IIFC (Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center), we used the information available to make the best decision we could in a short amount of time. We determined to make the safest decision for our students out of an abundance of caution,” said Trebley in a statement.
Henry County Sheriff John M. Sproles said his office received an email describing a bomb threat that had been emailed to 40 school districts.
According to Sheriff Sproles, the threat was written in Arabic script and can be translated into the following:
“One of your schools has a bomb inside. It is well built, solid and discreetly (sic) located. Considering that today is your last day, I think it is appropriate for you to pray to God. Allah is the greatest.”
The FBI said it is aware of these threats and is “working in coordination with our state and local law enforcement partners to investigate.”
Indiana State Police said they learned of the threat early Friday morning and quickly contacted the Department of Education, as well as “local, county, and federal law enforcement partners.”
No suspicious or explosive devices have been found in any of the schools. ISP said they are investigating the origin of the threat.
“The safety of our children will always be a top priority, the Indiana State Police will continue to offer any and all resources we have to schools to ensure safety for our students,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.
Edinburgh Community School Corporation is among the schools that were sent the threat, however the district is remaining open. The district posted a statement on its Facebook page Friday morning that read:
Late last night ECSC and 34 other school districts received a threat on our schools via email. Law enforcement was immediately notified. Both school buildings were searched last night and again this morning by law enforcement and school administration. This threat has been deemed not credible and we have been advised that it is safe for us to be in session today. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We would not be in session if we believed that anyone’s safety was in jeopardy. A strong police presence will be at both schools as a precaution. Thank you for trusting us with your children.
Other school districts that were sent the threat and deemed it not to be credible after contacting law enforcement include Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation (Pulaski County), Lakeland School Corporation (LaGrange County), Prairie Heights Community School Corporation (LaGrange County), Borden-Henryville School Corporation (Clark County), Hamilton Community Schools (DeKalb County), Southwest Parke Community Schools (Parke County), Lake Station Community Schools (Lake County), North Miami Community Schools (Miami County), North Harrison Community Schools (Harrison County), Hanover Community School Corporation (Lake County). Those districts are all open Friday.
You can find the districts that are either closed or on eLearning below.
School districts confirmed to be affected:
- Center Grove Schools (Closed)
- Fairfield Community Schools (eLearning)
- Frankton-Lapel Community Schools (eLearning)
- Guerin Catholic High School (eLearning)
- Lebanon Community School Corporation (eLearning)
- Madison Consolidated Schools (eLearning)
- Madison-Grant Community Schools (eLearning)
- Marion Community Schools (eLearning)
- Middlebury Community Schools (eLearning)
- Noblesville Schools (eLearning)
- Northwest Allen County Schools (eLearning)
- Oak Hill United School Corporation (eLearning)
- Rising Sun-Ohio County Community Schools (eLearning)
- Salem Community Schools (eLearning)
- Shelby Eastern Schools (eLearning)
- Shelbyville Central Schools (eLearning)
- Shenandoah School Corporation (eLearning)
- Southwestern Consolidated Schools (eLearning)
- Speedway Schools (Closed)
- Tipton Community School Corporation (eLearning)
- Union County-College Corner Joint School District (eLearning)
- Western School Corporation (eLearning)
- Western Wayne Schools (Closed)
While we do have a working list of the schools that are closed or on eLearning due to the threat, we have not confirmed every school that was sent the threat.
If your child’s school district has been affected, you can email email@example.com.
FOX59/CBS4 spoke with a few families impacted by the news of the bomb threat. Several parents said they are still in disbelief but are reassured at how local, state and federal agencies have responded.
“I was fearful,” Angie Teed, a mother of three Center Grove students, said. “That’s the first thing you think of is fear when you hear a bomb threat, especially this close to home.”
The Center Grove Community School Corporation was just one of nearly 40 districts that received this threat.
“You just kind of shake your head,” Doug Kouns, a former FBI agent, said. “What are people thinking? Most of these are not serious threats. That is a good thing, but there are enough that are [serious threats] that you have to treat them seriously.”
Former FBI agent, Doug Kouns is not connected to this investigation but has worked in similar situations. He said this kind of threat is a serious crime, and even if it is a hoax, you can face up to five years in jail.
“It takes an enormous amount of resources to put the threat to rest and thousands of dollars,” Kouns said.
Many of the districts used search teams and dogs trained to sniff out explosives to make sure all buildings were secure. This is to ensure safety remains the top priority among the schools that were impacted.