At around 2 p.m., school officials learned about a message written on a stall in a boys' bathroom at the high school. Parents were notified about the message via the Connect-Ed automated calling system the city uses for situations such as this.
On Wednesday students were asked to leave their backpacks behind as a safety measure and also enter the school through the main entrance only, which is how the school handled a similar situation last year.
"I want to emphasize that the safety of our students and staff is foremost in our minds at a time like this," Dolan said in a blog post Wednesday. "We treat every threat with the ultimate seriousness. Here are some of the steps we have taken within the last 24 hours to ensure our students’ safety:
- Officers from the Melrose Police Department and the regional School Threat Assessment and Response System (STARS) team searched both the middle school and the high school last night with the assistance of four bomb-sniffing dogs.
- After the search, both buildings were locked down for the night.
- Police were present both inside and outside the buildings throughout the night.
- Every school entry point was covered by a police officer when school opened this morning.
- Melrose High School students were encouraged not to bring backpacks; all backpacks that were brought into the building were searched.
- Middle school staff searched backpacks as students entered."
In his post, Dolan said that Tuesday's bomb threat was the first one at the high school since the Boston Marathon bombings on Patriots' Day.
"...It’s natural to find an event like this disturbing. That is why I want to make it clear that we have been working hard to ensure that every child is safe," Dolan said in the post. "We are fortunate to be able to draw on the resources of NEMLEC, a regional law enforcement group that offers mutual aid to its members. (Police) Chief (Mike) Lyle is very active within this group, and their STARS team was instrumental in helping us search and secure the buildings. They will also assist with the investigation into who made the threat."
"We have dealt with this before and we are trained to deal with these situations, and I commend the work of both the Melrose Police Department and our colleagues at NEMLEC," said Lyle in the post. "We are actively investigating this incident, and when we apprehend this individual or individuals, they will be charged appropriately."
The mayor commended Superintendent Cyndy Taymore, Melrose Police and other agencies for their response to the bomb threat.