Threatening phone calls to at least 15 schools in NSW and Victoria have caused schools to be evacuated and disrupted thousands of students in the first week of term.
SYDNEY – Multiple schools in Sydney were put in lockdown and students evacuated due to “numerous threats” made to them, New South Wales police said on Friday (Jan 29).
Police operations were also undertaken in Victoria, after threatening phone calls were made to at least four schools, police said.
“Police are aware of numerous threats made to schools in the Metropolitan and Southern Regions. Investigations are continuing, and police are liaising with the Department of Education,” a police statement read.
We’re aware that a number of Victorian schools have received a threatening phone call today. They’re being evacuated as a precaution. (1/2)
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) January 29, 2016
Threats were made against schools in Mona Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches, Woolooware in Sydney’s south, Richmond and Penrith in Sydney’s west and Lake Illawarra.
It’s understood the schools all received the same threatening phone message between 10.50am and 11.10am.
Police could not confirm how many schools, which have just reopened after the summer holiday, had been put in lockdown. But they said threats had been made to schools in the Metropolitan and Southern Regions.
Video footage from the Seven Network shows students and teachers from Penrith High School gathered at a sporting ground.
Schools in Ulladulla, Richmond and Mona Vale have also been affected, according to the Seven Network.
A mother of a student at Woolooware school told 2GB Radio her daughter had been evacuated from her school because of bomb threats.
NSW authorities are dealing with several bomb threats that have been made to schools in Woolooware, Ulladulla, Richmond, Penrith and Mona Vale.
Evacuations took place at Woolooware High School in the Sutherland Shire and Penrith High School.
All children and staff of Woolooware High School were evacuated to nearby Shark Park.
Eyewitness Alissa Machione told Yahoo7 that she was in one of the first cars stopped outside Wooloware High School.
A spokesman for Victoria’s Department of Education said the incidents were being taken “very seriously”.
“A number of schools have received threatening phone calls this morning,” the spokesman said.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our number one priority. All schools have emergency management plans which include evacuation plans, and the affected schools have enacted their plans this morning.”
School bomb threat confirmed as hoax
The computerised bomb threat warning of ‘a bloodbath in 40 minutes’ caused several schools around Sydney to be evacuated.
“Victoria Police can confirm it is treating the threatening phone calls received by a number of Victorian schools today as a hoax,” Victoria Police said in a written statement.
“We are satisfied that there are no imminent threats to schools and that the threats are not terrorism related.”
By 2.30pm, students at all schools had been allowed back in to class and the threats were deemed to be hoaxes.