Following two bomb threats this morning, Riverhead High School and McGann-Mercy High School both sent their students home early.
After thorough investigation of both schools by police, fire department and K9 units, no bomb was found at either location, police said.
This is the second bomb threat in two days at Mercy High School, which sent its students and staff home yesterday after an unknown caller said there was a bomb in the school. No bomb was found in the incident yesterday.
Another call was placed to police today at 10:40 a.m., claiming there was a bomb hidden in a backpack inside Mercy High School, according to Riverhead Police Lt. David Lessard. Police moved all students’ backpacks outside to the baseball field and bussed Mercy High School students to the Riverhead High School Charles Cardona Auditorium.
Forty minutes later, around 11:25 a.m., another call claimed there was also a bomb at Riverhead High School hidden at the front of the building, according to police radio reports.
Both calls were automated – like “a robo-call,” said Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney in an interview this afternoon. “Police are trying to figure out what kind of technology was used to place it,” she said.
Riverhead immediately went into lockdown, Carney said, with the Mercy students still in the auditorium. “The kids were safer inside the building at the time,” she said.
After about an hour of lockdown, Riverhead High School sent its students home early, Carney said. McGann-Mercy High School students were also sent home.
Mercy High School students’ backpacks will be redistributed tomorrow during school, police said.
“We’re very proud of how our staff handled the situation,” Carney said. “We had two schools there, but everyone remained calm and followed our safety procedures until we were able to organize a dismissal.”
There was a bomb threat at Southampton High School this morning as well, Carney said. All after-school activities at Southampton High School have been cancelled as a result.
The incidents are currently under investigation.