Matanzas High School was the target of a phoned-in bomb threat early this afternoon. The threat was deemed not credible by the school administration and little police response was necessary.
The threat came in through in internet-generated phone line with an Indianapolis area code a little before 1 p.m. That does not necessarily mean the call originated in Indiana, as such hoaxes typically depend on internet proxies that mask the actual origin point of the call, which could have been made locally as easily as it could’ve been placed from another continent.
The caller disguised his voice and claimed he would be coming to the school to blow it up. School officials had detected no unusual activity or suspicious individuals at or near the Palm Coast campus.
“We did do a sweep of the school, per our protocols,” a school district spokesman said,” and nothing was found. School administrators conducted the sweep, necessitating little response from the Flagler county Sheriff’s Office, whose school resource deputy at the school was immediately informed of the threat.
The notice about the bomb threat on the sheriff’s Facebook page generated several comments inquisitive about the response to the threat: “I was told that teachers swept their rooms but my daughters teacher had no clue what was going on,” one person commented. Another wrote: “I just spoke with my daughter and she had NO idea this was happening. Cops never came into her classroom. I called the school and was told that the teachers searched their rooms. But, her teacher had no idea what was going on. Teacher SHOULD NOT be the ones searching for bombs. They are not trained in bomb detection. They are there to teach our children. I am so disappointed and pissed off by the way this is being handled.”
Bomb threats are almost unfailingly hoaxes and have, along with false calls and alerts about school shootings, been increasing at educational facilities, often with a measure of coordination across counties or states. Indian Trails Middle School was the subject of one such false alert just last week. Since June, federal officials have identified threats to some 250 colleges and 100 high schools across the country, including dozens of historically black colleges, or HBCUs, according to The Associated Press.
“Based on the FBI’s investigation, those threats do not appear to be racially motivated, the official said, and investigators suspect the callers could be located outside of the U.S.,” AP reported. “The official said investigators have been running traces on the numbers and internet addresses, which led them to believe the calls may be generated overseas. The official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the investigation.”