WNY middle school evacuated after Facebook bomb threat ‘prank’

WEST NEW YORK – More than 800 students were evacuated from West New York Middle School Tuesday morning after the school’s principal was notified of a bomb threat made on Facebook, according to Superintendent of Schools John Fauta.
Students were relocated to the nearby Memorial High School while bomb-sniffing dogs from around the area swept the school, eventually clearing it for reentry by around 1:30 p.m., said Fauta.
“It was definitely a prank, just a joke, but the police are investigating. They are looking into the source of the threat to see if they can figure out where it came from,” said Fauta.
Fauta said that the principal, Israel Rodriguez, was notified of the threat by a student around 10 a.m., at which point evacuation procedures were immediately executed. Fauta said in a brief phone interview this morning that he was pleased with the response of the students, faculty and administration.
“We practice this every month. We’re required by the state statute,” he said. “Most of the kids thought it was just practice, and everything went very well.”
Fauta said that he visited the school Wednesday morning to commend the students and faculty on their performance during the evacuation, and advised “any students that were feeling a little shaky” about the various counseling opportunities the district offers.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group