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Police, Bomb Squad Respond to Fox Lane MS; Students Evacuate

Students returned after authorities deemed the building clear.

A report of a handwritten note—which included the word "bomb"—on a bathroom wall at Fox Lane Middle School led to an evacuation and a heavy police presence there Tuesday afternoon, the district confirmed.

"As a precautionary measure, all middle school students were evacuated to the high school and their parents were notified immediately," Carole LaColla, district clerk, said in a statement issued at about 3:25 p.m. "Bedford Police and the [Westchester] County bomb squad personnel arrived to 'sweep' the building. When school officials received an 'all-clear' from the Bedford Police, the middle school students returned to their school and prepared for their regular dismissal."

The commotion caused school buses at the Fox Lane campus to run about 15 minutes behind schedule, which delayed the vehicles from arriving on time for dismissal at the elementary schools. The district said parents were contacted through the all-call notification system.

"We thank parents for their patience during this incident and these delays," the statement reads. "We also thank our middle school students and staff for a very orderly response to this incident."

While bomb threats at the middle school are not new - Tuesday's incident was the second of its kind in less than two years - the most recent one is the first since the mass shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school that left scores of students and teachers dead.

Tom Auchterlonie contributed to this article.

Ashley Tarr (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Any parents out there with a child at Fox Lane Middle School want to share their reaction to the notification? I asked the same on Facebook. Here's what one user said: "Stay calm, pray, get near the school, text child, wait! I have faith that the school personnel will do their best to keep the kids as safe as possible and take every precaution necessary to do so."
dianna indorf February 05, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Glad everyone is safe!
Theresa Flora February 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Oh please, more over reaction! Get a grip, people.
10506er February 06, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Is everything that happens in a school from here on out going to have a reference to Newtown? The word bomb on a bathroom wall is not a mass shooting. Really.
bev singer February 06, 2013 at 02:24 AM
you never know!
dianna indorf February 06, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Safety has many different meanings...keeping 1000 kids safe evacuating unexpectedly in itself can be challenging...wishing them all well is not an overreaction...just humanity...you are the one overreacting
LR February 06, 2013 at 11:21 AM
My daughter is a former Fox Lane student and this kind of threat is nothing new and local press covering these matters is nothing new. Over her years at the MS and HS, she faced many evacuations due to a variety of threats to the schools. One year she had as many as 3 or 4 evacuations. I would rather have them evacuate and investigate no matter how small the threat appears to be, rather than have Fox Lane become famous for all the wrong reasons. This is not about Newtown. This is about making sure we never become a Newtown or Columbine and protecting students.
10506er February 06, 2013 at 12:47 PM
@iloveny10506: of course the evacuation was appropriate. I have no qualm about that at all. Better be safe than sorry. My only objection is that the author of the article felt it was necessary to make a Newtown reference. I didn't see the purpose and I worry that we are going to hereon and forever use Newtown as fear mongering. The use of the word Newtown diminishes the purpose of this article itself. We all want our children safe. The school did right. The author did not.
Dan February 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Since this was another (thank God or whoever) false alarm which takes up much time, education and money. I was just wondering if the school should just add another day to the school year, maybe, just maybe the prankster's would hesitate from doing this again. Has the schools had any ideas to help stop this?
Tom Auchterlonie (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 02:50 PM
10506er, I added in the reference and I have now inserted a contributing byline. The reason why is because, from my experience, these type of scares have happened multiple times. However, since the tragedy last month, there has been a lot of talk in Bedford Central about security and the wellbeing of students, from whether there should be a police presence to whether the district's capital plan should have changes. When I added the reference, I thought it was important due to the context of what the district and the community are facing with the issue. If you were offended, that was not my intention. Feel free to email me at tom@patch.com if you have further questions.
10506er February 06, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Tom: I was more irritated than anything. We're going to have to get past using Newtown as the default word for any scare at any school. Whether Bedford chooses to add police presence should be a decision only based on what's right for Bedford. To base such a decision on externals furthers the flames of fear. You are a good writer. I'm just asking that in the future, ALL reporters think before making a reference to Newtown.
Theresa Flora February 07, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Punish everyone for the act of one or a few? One of these days when the miscreant(s) is/are found out, the parents ought to be held responsible for the cost of the emergency services wasted. Make it policy, along with promptly expelling Junior.
mark February 07, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Flora, how would making up lost time be a punishment?
Theresa Flora February 07, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Mark, the vast, vast majority of kids don't write the word bomb on bathroom walls. I don't care about lost time. I've put 3 kids through the district and have one still in. There's so much academic time wasted during the normal course of the school year it's not funny. But that's a subject for another day. My concern is the cost of emergency services and tying up those services for bs false alarms. That's serious stuff, and parents need to make sure their kids understand that. Make it policy that parents will be financially responsible for the cost. Force people to parent their kids.
Fred Herring February 10, 2013 at 06:14 AM
This is histrionic, emotional Bull Spit. Oh my God, my children! When I was in middle school we had bomb threats- it didn't make the bloody news! Go peddle your fears in a non-public forum (IE your friends)... please! Stop screwing people up.
Andromachos February 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Flora - Since when is attending school "punishment"
Singyurheartxout March 14, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I really hope Fox Lane learned how to deal with whichever student did this in a decent way. Because just suspending a kid for the rest of the year won't do much at all or arresting them. Honestly, if a person does a bomb threat, they obviously have some bigger issues going on in their life and they need help. Even if they don't show it or ask for it they obviously need it if they thought "writing/making a bomb threat" was the thing to do. There's a reason for everything and sometimes it's deeper than you think.

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