Today’s updates on yesterday’s bomb threat:
MercerMe communicated today (Friday October 1) with Hopewell Township Police Director Robert Karmazin, who said:
“Regarding this incident, it remains classified as a non-credible threat involving a third party “snap-chat” originating from out of state. Our law enforcement team in conjunction with our Hopewell Valley School’s superintendent’s team, along with the high school administration, in an abundance of precaution, followed established protocols. The incident is currently under investigation, so there is nothing we can speak to regarding the case. I can say much of what is being disseminated throughout the community is incorrect. “
In following up about what exactly “non-credible” means, Director Karmazin said, it means “just that, no credibility to the threat”.
MercerMe’s founder and publisher, Mary Galioto, attended the Police Director’s previously scheduled Brown Bag Lunch for seniors today. During that session, Director Karmazin indicated that the Police Department determined yesterday there were no bombs in the high school building. He explained that there had been a social media post about explosives that someone locally shared in a way that appeared to express admiration, and so, it was treated as a potential threat. Karmazin said that everything beyond that was done as an abundance of caution and as part of procedure.
Although MercerMe asked, and Director Karmazin did not comment, it should be noted that bomb threats were also reported yesterday at high schools across the country, from Yonkers to Galveston, to Petaluma, and none were reported to be credible.
Yesterday evening, the HVCHS Principal, Patricia Riley, sent the following letter to HVCHS families:
Dear HVCHS Families,
Although I know you received official communication throughout the day from Dr. Treece regarding our emergency situation, I wanted to take a moment to thank several people for the roles they played in our response today.
First, thank you to our students. Their adherence to our safety protocols as we evacuated the building, the general flexibility and understanding they demonstrated throughout the day, and the support they showed to one another was truly remarkable. I would especially like to thank the students who initially brought their concerns to our attention; your commitment to the safety and security of the school is truly appreciated.
Next, thank you to our staff. Coordinating an emergency evacuation of 1100 students is a daunting task, but the dedication, commitment, and support that our staff displayed throughout the process is reflective of their continuous professionalism. From ensuring that every single student was accounted for as we evacuated, to monitoring and supporting our students as we waited for the investigation to be completed, to connecting each student to their transportation home, each staff member gave 100% and I am incredibly proud of their efforts.
Finally, thank you to our first responders. The immediate response of the Hopewell Township Police Department and Emergency Services, followed by the support of several other agencies, was truly impressive. The ongoing support that our local first responders provide to Hopewell Valley Central High School is invaluable.
The safety and security of our students remains our priority, and although we will continue to refine our emergency protocols as we move forward, I am thankful that the combined efforts of our students, staff, and first responders enabled us to ensure our school community’s safety today.
Due to the events of today, we have decided to postpone the state assessments that were scheduled for tomorrow. We will maintain a special schedule (including our Distinguished Graduates Assembly and Homecoming Pep Rally). Upon arrival at school at 7:45am, students should report to their recitation location.
Today, HVRSD Superinendent, Dr. Rosetta Treece emailed the following response to MercerMe:
The Hopewell Valley Regional School District thanks the Hopewell Township Police Department and Emergency Services for their quick response and support at Hopewell Valley Central High School. As a result of their immediate response, during yesterday’s events, we were able to keep everyone safe.
We would also like to thank our staff, students, and parents for their adherence to school safety protocols and their extreme patience and flexibility in an emergency situation. We are particularly proud of our students who alerted us to this concern and who cooperated during the investigation. As a result, we were able to quickly resolve this crisis.
The safety and security of our students remains our priority. While we will continue to refine our emergency protocols, we were able to safely move and account for all of our students and staff in a crisis situation. I am thankful that the combined efforts of our students, staff, and first responders enabled us to ensure the safety of all members of our school community.
Rosetta D. Treece, Ed.D.
(She, Her, Hers)
Superintendent of Schools
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