Evanston’s Haven Middle School was evacuated this afternoon after school officials received a telephone bomb threat.

Evanston’s Haven Middle School was evacuated this afternoon after school officials received a telephone bomb threat.

Bomb-sniffing dogs from the county bomb squad were called in to search the building at 2417 Prairie Ave. but found nothing. Students were allowed to return to the building shortly before their scheduled dismissal time.

The evacuation took place around 1 p.m. and the authorities declared the building safe shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Haven students were sent to nearby Kingsley Elementary School while their building was being searched.

Other District 65 schools reportedly were locked down — with limited access to the buildings — while the threat to Haven was being checked out.

Evanston police declined to provide details about the content of the threatening message.

Update 5:30 p.m.:

Late today School Superintendent Hardy Murphy issued a letter to parents in which noted that today’s incident followed another bomb hoax at Evanston Township High School last week.

He said that even a hoax call is still very serious and dangerous, “with the potential not only to disrupt our day, but also divert valuable law enforcement resources.”

He said that in Illinois it is a criminal offense to make a bomb threat, “and families of minors may be held financially responsible when a false threat is proven.”

Murphy’s letter urged parents “to talk to your children about the very serious consequences of making false threats.”

The district’s communications director, Pat Markham, also acknowledged that there were problems with the automated notification system today, which led to some English-speaking parents receiving only the Spanish language version of the message. She said the district is working to correct that problem and considering ways to provide more detailed information about such incidents in the future.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Recent school bomb threats

    After hearing about the most recent bomb threat yesterday, I googled "how to stop false bomb threats in schools" (duh) and instantly came up with a comprehensive proceedure published by a reliable source that could be an effectiuve guideline for future consideration.  I think the district’s actions were prudent and thoughful- particurally keeping the children housed in a nearby school rather than letting them out early.

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