Schools across the nation faced a wave of bomb threats this week, leading to school lockdowns and evacuations.
At least 21 states received phone calls threatening violence, including New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Colorado, Utah, Delaware, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Across the pond, bomb threats led to the closure of over two dozen UK schools. Scotland and Northern Ireland also evacuated schools after a bomb scare.
In New Hampshire alone, five schools were evacuated. No explosives were discovered, but parents and students were rattled. A similar scene unfolded at schools across the nation on Monday, revealing the startling reality that no school is immune to threats of violence.
This week’s threats targeting schools may be rekindling a national debate over school safety.
Earlier this year, a heated controversy erupted after the two largest US school systems, New York and Los Angeles, sharply diverged in their responses to largely identical emailed threats to school officials. Facing the same threat, Los Angeles immediately closed its schools, while New York kept its schools open after dismissing the threat as a hoax.
The latest wave of bomb threats serves agrim reminder that school safety must remain at the forefront of national discussion. The contrasting responses to school threats strongly attests to the need for federal, state, and local partners to discuss how to create a more unified response to future threats of violence against schools.
The nation cannot afford to wait for another Sandyhook or Columbine to discuss how to enhance school safety. With the lives of so many—including parents, teachers, and students—at risk, now is the time for action.