Fortuna, Ca., (KIEM)- A quiet Monday Morning at a Fortuna Elementary School is interrupted with the click of a mouse. At about 11:15 a.m. the superintendent of the elementary school district received an email from someone threatening to bring bombs and guns to campus.
“As soon as I opened up the email I contacted the Fortuna Police Department and let them know… they told us to get into lock down and evacuate if necessary, and they would be coming right over.” Superintendent Jeff Northern acted quickly. Soon, students were flooding out of buildings, teachers taking roll.
The FBI and Fortuna Police Department would respond. Analysts learned, according to Northern, the threat originated in the Ukraine. It was also a hoax. The students district wide were able to return to their classrooms and resume their studies by early afternoon.
Parents received the following statement from Superintendent Northern’s Office as well:
“This is a message from the Fortuna Elementary School District. Earlier today, the district
received an email that threatened to harm students at an unspecified school. The Fortuna
Police Department was immediately notified and district schools went into lockdown with a
plan to evacuate the sites if instructed by law enforcement. The police department contacted
the FBI and they determined the message was a hoax. It was discovered that the message was
apparently generated somewhere in the Ukraine. We are grateful to our local police
department and FBI agents who quickly responded to the threat and were able to determine it
was a hoax. Please be aware that at no time was your child in danger and that all students
remain safe at their school sites and the lock down has been lifted.”
It’s easy to see how a bomb threat could rattle students and parents considerably. That’s why Fortuna Middle School Prinicipal, Julie Johansen gave us this recommendation for students: “I would encourage parents to talk with their students, when given directions to make sure to follow them. Kids and parents are always like, ‘What’s going on?’ They want information, but it’s really important sometimes to just follow directions and then get information later.”