CLAY COUNTY (KSNT) – A local school district took to social media to notify parents of a bomb threat being distributed in Kansas and across the nation Tuesday.
Clay County Schools USD 379 posted to social media that officials with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) are aware of a message being sent across the country targeting schools, hospitals and other businesses with a bomb threat. USD 379 included the following message from Superintendent Brett Nelson which has been sent to parents of children in the district:
Parents and Staff,
A member of our school board received an email from an unknown email address saying that they had “planted bombs on the inside and also requested bitcoins.” No school or specific location was mentioned. A number of other school districts appear to be on the email.
We have been coordinating with local law enforcement and the KBI. Local law enforcement will have a presence in all of our schools today. We have inspected the buildings, checked for open doors/windows, and also swept the buildings looking for anything unusual or out of the ordinary. We have no reason to believe there is any credit to this threat. We will continue to coordinate with local law enforcement and the KBI. As more information comes in we will share it.Brett Nelson, superintendent of schools Clay County USD 379
Topeka Public Schools USD 501 spokesman Dr. Aarion Gray confirmed that no threats have been received in Topeka on Tuesday.
KSDE Director John Calvert with the Safe Schools Unit also sent out the following email to Kansas schools:
This morning we were made aware of emails that are targeting school districts, hospitals, and other businesses. The emails threaten to detonate bombs unless a specific amount of bitcoin is paid. They are being sent not only in Kansas but nationwide. KSDE is working with our partners in the KBI and FBI as well as other state leaders to find who is behind these threats. The KBI has put out a message to all law enforcement making them aware of this recent threat.
If you receive an email or threat like this, we urge you to contact your local law enforcement agency so that they can assist you in investigating whether or not the threat is credible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email or call me. Thank you for what you continue to do to keep our schools safe.John Calvert, KSDE director of safe schools unit
Melissa Underwood with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) sent a similar message to KSNT 27 News detailing the KBI’s response to the issue. She said law enforcement may be more visible at this time but there are currently “no actionable threats in Kansas.”
This threat comes following an uptick in threats of violence at schools across the country. Often referred to as ‘swatting’ incidents, these have involved hoax calls made to law enforcement involving bomb threats or reports of active school shootings. Occurrences of these incidents are increasing nationwide and pose serious risk of disrupting communities, draining emergency resources and raising public fears.
This is a developing story.