6114.3 - Bomb threats and Explosive Devices
Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness
Bomb Threats and Explosive Devices
The Board recognizes that bomb threats and explosive devices are a significant concern to the schools. Whether real and carried out, or intended as a prank or for some other purpose, a bomb threats and explosive devices pose a clear and imminent danger to the safety and welfare of students and staff, and to the integrity of school property. Bomb threats and explosive devices cause a significant disruption to the instructional program and learning environment, and also place significant demands on school financial resources and public safety services. These effects occur even when such threats prove to be false.
Any bomb threat or the planting of an actual explosive device will be regarded as an extremely serious matter and treated accordingly. The Board directs the Superintendent to react promptly and appropriately to information concerning bomb threats/explosive devices and to initiate or recommend suitable disciplinary action.
A. Conduct Prohibited
No person shall make, or communicate by any means, whether verbal or non-verbal, a threat that a bomb has been, or will be, placed on school premises. Due to the potential for evacuation of the schools and other disruption of school operations, making a bomb threat, or placement of a bomb or of a “look-alike” bomb on school premises will be considered a threat for the purpose of this policy.
It is also a violation of Board policy to communicate by any means that any toxic or hazardous substance or material has been placed, or will be placed, on school premises with the intent to endanger the safety and welfare of students or staff, and/or to disrupt the operations of the schools. For the purpose of this policy, "toxic or hazardous substance or material" means any material or substance, including biomedical materials or organisms, that, when placed as threatened, could be harmful to humans.
1. A "bomb" means an explosive, incendiary or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, Molotov Cocktail, or other destructive device.
2. A "look-alike bomb" means any apparatus or object that conveys the appearance of a bomb or other destructive device.
3. A "bomb threat" is the communication, by any means, whether verbal or non-verbal, that a bomb has been, or will be, placed on school premises, including possession or placement of a bomb or look-alike bomb on school premises.
4. "School premises" means any school property, school buses and any location where any school activities may take place.
C. Development of Bomb Threat Procedures
The Director of Security, in partnership with the District Security and Safety Committee (DSSC) shall be responsible for developing and implementing procedures specific to bomb threats as part of the District’s Emergency Operations Plan. These procedures are intended for administrators and staff to follow in the event that a bomb threat is received, or a suspicious or actual explosive device is located and includes provisions to address:
1. Assessment of the threat (for the purpose of identifying a response that is in proportional to the threat, in light of what is necessary to ensure safety);
2. As a result of the assessment, the Administration will determine the appropriate emergency response procedures to deploy to best ensure the safety of the students;
3. Incident Command (who is in charge, and when);
4. Communications, contacts, and mandatory bomb threat reporting;
5. Parent and guardian notification process;
6. Training for staff members; and
7. Support services for students and staff.
The Director of Security, in partnership with the DSSC, will be responsible for review and evaluation of bomb threat procedures.
D. Reporting of Bomb Threats
A student who learns of a bomb threat or the existence of a bomb or explosive device on school premises must immediately report such information to the building principal, teacher, the School Resource Officer, School Security Officer, or other employee in a position of authority.
An employee of the school unit who learns of a bomb threat shall immediately inform the building administrator. The building administrator shall immediately take appropriate steps to protect the safety of students and staff in accordance with the District’s Emergency Operations Plan (bomb threat procedures).
All bomb threats shall be reported immediately to the Newtown Police Department, who will make immediate notification to the Director of Security and Superintendent, as provided in the bomb threat procedures.
The Superintendent shall be responsible for reporting any bomb threat to the Board of Education. Reports will include the name of the school, the date and time of the threat, the medium used to communicate the threat, and whether or not the perpetrators have been apprehended.
E. Student Discipline Consequences
Making a bomb threat, or a bomb or explosive device is a felony crime. Any student suspected of making a bomb threat or bomb/explosive device shall be reported to law enforcement authorities for investigation and possible prosecution. Apart from any penalty imposed by law, and without regard to the existence or status of criminal charges, a student who makes a bomb threat shall be subject to disciplinary action.
The administration shall suspend and may recommend for expulsion any student who makes a bomb threat, or who makes a bomb or explosive device.
F. Aiding Other Students in Making Bomb Threats
A Any student who knowingly encourages, causes, aids or assists another student in making or communicating a bomb threat shall be subject to the disciplinary consequences described in Section E of this policy.
G. Failure to Report a Bomb Threat
A student who fails to report information or knowledge of a bomb threat or the existence of a bomb or other destructive device in a school building or on school property may be subject to disciplinary consequences, which may include suspension and/or expulsion.
H. Staff Discipline Consequences
A school system employee who makes or communicates a bomb threat will be reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities and will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Disciplinary action taken shall be consistent with collective bargaining agreements, other employment agreements and Board policies.
A school system employee who fails to report information or knowledge of a bomb threat or the existence of a bomb on school premises will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.
I. Civil Liability
The District reserves the right to bring suit against any individual responsible for a violation of this policy and to seek restitution and other damages as permitted by law.
J. Lost Instructional Time
Instructional time lost as a result of a bomb threat will be rescheduled at the earliest appropriate opportunity as determined by the Superintendent within guidelines set by the Board.
Time lost may be rescheduled on a vacation day, or after what would normally be the last day of the school year, except on days when schools must be closed as required by law.
K. Notification Through Student Handbook
All student handbooks shall address the District’s bomb threat policy and procedures and explain the educational consequences of bomb threats. In addition, student handbooks shall notify students and parents that bomb threats violate Board policy and civil and criminal law.
L. Bomb Threat Report Form
The ‘Bomb Threat Report Form’ and information regarding its use is contained in the District’s Emergency Operations Plan, under the Bomb Threat/Suspicious Device Annex.
(cf. 5114 – Suspension/Expulsion)
(cf. 5131.7 – Weapons and Dangerous Instruments)
(cf. 5141.6 – Crisis Prevention/Response)
(cf. 5142 – Student Safety; Procedures for Plan During Crisis)
(cf. 6114 – Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness)
(cf. 6144.1 – Fire Emergencies/Drills)
(cf. 6114.6 – Emergency Closings)
(cf. 6114.7 – Safe Schools)
Legal References: 18 U.S.C.§921;8921
Policy adopted: June 3, 2014
Policy revised: August 14, 2018
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut