Hoax call forces class evacuation

By Mikaela Collins

2 comments
At least 13 schools around the country got the automated phone call at about 11.20am yesterday.
At least 13 schools around the country got the automated phone call at about 11.20am yesterday.

A Northland school was evacuated after receiving a hoax bomb threat.

At least 13 schools around the country got the automated phone call at about 11.20am yesterday, including Whangarei Primary School.

Whangarei police said the automated message kept repeating and referred to a threat to the school involving a bomb.

Principal Martin Van Rijswijk said as soon as they received the call they rang the school bell, evacuated students on to open areas at the front and back at the school, and called police immediately.

"Basically we regularly rehearse evacuations for fires or bomb threats and we knew this had been happening at other schools so we had been prepared," he said.

Mr Van Rijswijk said three police officers turned up within two minutes and swept the school to ensure it was safe. When police gave the all clear, the school day went back to normal, said Mr Van Rijswijk.

The automated call was similar to those calls sent to schools around the country, including Kerikeri High School and Kaitaia Intermediate School, last month. At that time a computer forensic expert was warning an underground group of cyber teens bent on causing mayhem could be behind the spate of hoax bomb threats.

- Northern Advocate

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