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article imageBomb threats affect schools in New Jersey and Virginia on Friday

By Karen Graham     Mar 5, 2016 in World
It has become a world where no place is really safe anymore, as thousands of children in New Jersey and Northern Virginia found out on Friday after automated phone calls were made to dozens of schools with bomb threats.
The school day was cut short in New Jersey about 11 a.m. on Friday when automated phone calls began coming into schools in a dozen districts, disrupting classes for thousands of students for the second time within a week, and the third time since January.
The new Jersey bomb threats were confirmed by authorities in Ramsey, Mahwah, Cliffside Park, Waldwick, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Englewood, Hackensack, Oradell, Paramus, Paterson, Haledon, Little Falls, Nutley and Kearny, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Mahwah, where the high school was dealing with the second threat in one week, Police Chief James Batelli called the threats "significant," and said he expected authorities to increase their efforts to find the person or persons responsible. “You cannot continue to have these events occur,” Batelli said. “I think the only way you’re going to make this stop is to effect arrests.”
The police chief said the perpetrator could be testing to see how fast authorities would respond to a threat. “I don’t think you can ever underestimate a bomb threat,” he said. One thing is for sure, law enforcement and K-9 units were out in force to make sure the schools were safe.
In Virginia, the blitz of robocalls started about 11:30 a.m., just a short time after the New Jersey calls. Seven high schools in Northern Virginia were affected, including McLean, Westfield, Herndon and The Potomac School in Fairfax County; Stone Bridge in Loudoun; Bishop O'Connell in Arlington County and George Mason High in Falls Church.
All the calls appear to be connected say police officials. Megan Hawkins, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County Police, told Fox News she didn't know if Friday's calls were connected to bomb threats called in earlier in the week to schools in McLean.
The automated phone calls, known as robocalls, are often difficult to track down. Undoubtedly this is the reason why this method of calling in bomb threats to schools has become so popular. A bunch of robocalls led to evacuations and lock-downs of 13 schools in three states in January, reports the Washington Post.
More about Bomb threats, Robocalls, evacuations and lockdowns, calls difficult to track, Schools