Schools evacuated in Passaic following bomb threats

NewsCopter 7 over the scene of school evacuations in Passaic.

April 24, 2013 4:08:48 PM PDT
Four schools were evacuated in Passaic after a bomb threat on Wednesday morning.

Pictures of small children holding hands as they were lead out of their schools in Passaic were an eerie reminder of the Newtown shootings.

After the events in Boston as well, it seems someone got on the phone Wednesday morning and got very busy playing a cruel joke.

Distraught parents began to crowd around their children's' schools as word got out.

The first phone call happened at 8:20 a.m. at Passaic's School 10 and then, an hour later there was a similar threatening call, at school eight.

Then just 30 minutes later there was yet another phone call at Hope Academy in Passaic which is a middle school.

"I'm assuming this is just pranks, whoever picked up the calls, they were saying it was a man with a deep voice and it was the same deep voice that made the other phone calls as well," Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco said.

Then, at 10:45 a.m. there was another phone call about a suspicious package at a bodega right near school nine.

That school had to be evacuated as well.

The bomb squad came in with robots and eventually, authorities cut open a backpack and determined there was no danger.

But for panic-stricken parents, the damage was already done.

Parents were also questioning why the protocol was to move children from one school to another if that's where threats kept coming in.

"There's very few options that we have to move entire schools to an enclosed location," said Dr. Lawrence Everett, Passaic Schools Superintendent.