Sunday, December 28, 2014

District officials on high alert after Ackerman is sent a bomb threat

District officials have sprung into action after a threatening email addressed to Superintendent Arlene Ackerman was sent to the district's Call Center and webmaster Saturday night.

District officials on high alert after Ackerman is sent a bomb threat

District officials have sprung into action after an emailed bomb threat addressed to Superintendent Arlene Ackerman was sent to the district's call center and webmaster Saturday night. 

"We're not sure who it's from, but it contained several complaints against the district, and it was directed toward Dr. Ackerman and staff," said district spokeswoman Shana Kemp. "They said they would be in the building at midday." 

Philadelphia police, including a bomb-sniffing dog, conducted a perimeter and internal search of 440 early this morning and found no evidence of an explosive device, Kemp said. Officers will resume the search prior to the start of the work day tomorrow. 

A Philadelphia police spokeswoman could not confirm whether city police were involved in the search.

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The email addressed to Ackerman was immediately provided to the district’s head of safety, Chief Myron Patterson, and the Philadelphia Police Department, where a full investigation is being conducted.

As an extra precaution, Ackerman has been assigned additional bodyguards and officials have posted safety tips online for employees to follow in case of an emergency.

Though this is the first time the superintendent has received a direct death threat, Kemp said they are taking the matter seriously.

"We take all threats seriously, especially bombs," Kemp said. "When we get them, we take action. We're surprised, but it's tense all over this country. It's a symptom of the tense times that we're in now."

A message posted on the district's website instructs employees that if they see anything that may seem unusual, to notify law enforcement immediately. Employees with additional concerns should contact their supervisor for more information. A safety support team will be provided on Monday.

 

Dafney Tales
About this blog
Dafney Tales has been covering the School District of Philadelphia for the Daily News since 2009. She hopes this blog will be a forum where taxpayers – parents, educators and advocates - as well as students, can engage in a constructive conversation about education in the city. Send tips to talesd@phillynews.com. Reach Dafney at talesd@phillynews.com.

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