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Westford Academy Students Dismissed Due to Threat

School officials say the building is safe; the incident is still under investigation.

Westford Academy. Credit: Patch
Westford Academy. Credit: Patch

UPDATE, 4:42 p.m. Classes will resume at Westford Academy at 7:35 a.m. on May 7, according to school officials. Access to the building is closed for the evening, as a safety precaution. Principal James Antonelli issued the following statement earlier today: 

Good afternoon,

In response to the bomb threat earlier today, public safety officials along with Westford Academy Staff have thoroughly searched the high school and determined that the building is safe. Classes will resume tomorrowmorning at the regular time. As precautionary measures, there will be no access to the building this evening.  The Westford Police are actively investigating the situation.  I want commend the students and staff for a safe and orderly dismissal earlier today.  
Thank you for your cooperation.
Jim Antonelli

UPDATE, 3:09 p.m. The K9 unit is clearing from the scene of the school, according to scanner chatter. 

UPDATE, 3:03 p.m. Police shift changes are underway at the Westford Academy. According to scanner chatter, police officers are going to other schools around the district.

UPDATE, 2:27 p.m. Westford Academy administrators Tweeted that they are assisting first responders in making sure the building is safe for students to return to tomorrow. 

UPDATE, 2:05 p.m. A K9 unit is still searching Westford Academy's grounds. The K9 officer was accidentally locked out of the school via the back entrance of the building and requested to be let back in, according to scanner chatter. All of the school's activities have been cancelled, including sports games

UPDATE, 1:35 p.m. Superintendent Olsen confirmed to a Lowell Sun reporter that Academy staffers were asked to assist first responders in looking for anything out of the ordinary inside the building. He noted that they “intimately know the building” and a number of the employees did volunteer to help. 

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m. A conference call is being held between police and others to discuss the threat investigation. 

UPDATE, 12:57 p.m. A K9 unit is at Westford Academy to assist with the search. Some police are being dismissed from the scene. 

UPDATE, 12:50 p.m. Police have just radioed everyone on portables and told them to “clear the building.”

UPDATE, 12:46 p.m. Police are looking to gain access to a locked room in the library, according to scanner chatter.

UPDATE, 12:36 p.m. Police and firefighters are being asked to "regroup" in front of the office of the school. 

UPDATE, 12:32 p.m. Command officials are being asked to come to the office to assist with the investigation. Others are searching for any threats within the school. 

UPDATE, 12:27 p.m. A student reportedly took a picture of the threat that was written on a bathroom wall and is now reporting the information to police.

The first post is below: 

The Westford Police Department has confirmed that students at Westford Academy were dismissed earlier today due to an unknown threat.

No one in the police department was available for comment about the threat but a staffer did confirm that there was a threat at the school. 

Everett V. Olsen Jr., the superintendent of the Westford Public Schools, was not available to comment at post time. His administrative assistant stated that he had just headed to the school to evaluate the situation. 

According to scanner chatter, an incident command has been set up in front of the school while firefighters and police evaluate the threat.

All the buses have cleared the students from the school, according to officials.

Westford Patch will update this post when more information becomes available. 

Steven Sadowski May 06, 2014 at 10:09 PM
On a different note, if they ever find who did it (write the threat on the wall) that kid's life is over. What a shame.
Barbara May 07, 2014 at 09:06 AM
Personally, they made a stupid mistake and anyone in hs should understand that there are consequences for their actions. I really hope they catch the kid.
Sam May 07, 2014 at 09:09 AM
Unless the kid is a star football player, then not so much.....
Vincent DiRico May 07, 2014 at 09:13 AM
My 5th graders tell me stories how kids who write F-bombs are tracked down, so I think this kid will eventually be caught.
Steven Sadowski May 07, 2014 at 09:22 AM
I agree they made a stupid mistake, and they should be held responsible, but I think back to the era I grew up in (1968-now) and I think back to the stupid things I did as a kid (and I had had super strict, uber-catholic, WWII derpression-era parents) but society wasn't so wound so tight regarding 9-11, sexual harassment, guns, gender sensitivity, etc. Now kids are being suspended for making finger guns, and drawing pictures of tanks, for giving a girl a hug, or wearing a t-shirt with a cross on it. We seem to have tipped too far in the other direction. When a TSA agent can touch places most men would be fired for mentioning, we've gone too far. ................ I drive by WA everyday to pick my kids up at Crisafulli/Robinson and that place was crawling with "dark ops" cops. Not WPD, but the kind of black tinted windowed Dodge Chargers, and Crown Vics and all the police had nylon windbreakers with acronyms on the back, helicopters, etc. It makes you wonder how very very quick even a bucolic town like Westford can turn martial in a very very short time, over writing on a bathroom wall. It reminded me of Arlington after the Marathon bombing with SWAT teams in tactical gear kicking in doors and locking down an entire city. Surreal.


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