HHS Reacts to Bomb Threat and Lockdown

HHS+students+all+gathered+in+the+gym+during+the+lockdown.+They+were+told+to+%0Ashelter+in+place+for+close+to+an+hour+while+K-9+teams+swept+the+school.+%7C+by+Dakota+Antelman
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HHS Reacts to Bomb Threat and Lockdown

HHS students all gathered in the gym during the lockdown. They were told to 
shelter in place for close to an hour while K-9 teams swept the school. | by Dakota Antelman

HHS students all gathered in the gym during the lockdown. They were told to shelter in place for close to an hour while K-9 teams swept the school. | by Dakota Antelman

HHS students all gathered in the gym during the lockdown. They were told to shelter in place for close to an hour while K-9 teams swept the school. | by Dakota Antelman

HHS students all gathered in the gym during the lockdown. They were told to shelter in place for close to an hour while K-9 teams swept the school. | by Dakota Antelman


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by Dakota Antelman

Hudson High School students and staff spent close to an hour in a “soft lockdown,” on Monday morning after a bomb threat was made against the school. Hudson was one of close to 20 Massachusetts schools to receive bomb threats in what, according to Principal Brian Reagan, is now presumed to be a large scale prank.

The threat was made around 8 A.M. on Monday, when the Hudson front office received a pre-recorded call stating that a bomb had been planted in the school. According to Reagan, HHS administrators, Superintendent Jodi Fortuna, as well as members of the state and town police all met to discuss a plan to deal with the threat. By 8:30, they had notified parents of the threat and had begun moving students into the gym. Students and staff would remain in the gym for just under an hour while K-9 units searched the school.

“The biggest craziness of this was that we had a lot of nets and activities set up in the gym,” wellness teacher Jonathan LeSage, who was teaching a class at the time of the threat, said. “We had to scramble a bit to make sure that it was as safe as possible to have everybody in there.”

by Dakota Antelman

by Dakota Antelman

LeSage and his colleague Dee Grassey’s classes were the first in the building to be notified of the threat. They were told to evacuate the gym briefly while K-9 units sniffed their bags. They soon returned, along with the rest of the school, to wait out the lockdown in the gym.

Reagan described the school’s reaction to the threat as being for “peace of mind.”

“I have [had experiences like this before.] Most if not all of them have been like this one where it’s a non-specific threat,” he said. “Generally from speaking with law enforcement, things like these that aren’t specific with a time or location, that’s usually an indication that it’s a prank.”

Nevertheless, the school has received criticism for its decision to gather the entire student body in the gym without having the K-9 units check any bags other than those of the students who were already in gym class.

“When we look back on it, would we have had kids leave their bags up in the rooms?” Reagan said. “We could have. But then you run the risk of kids with medical needs needing to have stuff with them in their bags. It was one of those decisions you make spur of the moment. Given the severity of it, we thought it was okay to have kids take their bags.”

Within minutes of receiving the threat, Reagan and the state police became aware of dozens of other threats across the state.  Schools in Cambridge, Boston, and as nearby as Marlborough all went into lockdown due to similar low-level threats.

Overall, Monday’s events left students feeling admittedly sullen and somewhat anxious as they proceeded through the remainder of their day.

“It’s been pretty quiet,” LeSage said. “I think people are a little self-reflective when something like this comes up. People were thinking like ‘What if something like this did happen in our school?’”

He and Reagan both also noted the number of students who either dismissed themselves or called their parents to pick them up following the lockdown.

“I was disappointed to see so many people so quick to dismiss,” Reagan explained. He added, however, that, in response to parental complaints, students who left school following the threat will be able to make up work they missed.

Monday’s events are just the latest in a wave of low-level threats to area school systems. As recently as January, 17 schools in Massachusetts received threats. Monday’s threats now push the total number of such incidents recorded this year past 30, according to a Fox25 report.

“These are things we can’t necessarily avoid,” Reagan said of the surge in threats. “We’re just hopeful that it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.”