School officials sent home nearly 2,000 students after receiving a bomb threat at McLean High School in northern Virginia at approximately 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. The Washington Post reports:
The 10th largest school district in the country, Fairfax County schools face nearly daily threats. Security officials have said that threats come in frequently through the Internet and social media and that they investigate about 100 cases a year.
Earlier this year, fake bomb threats closed schools in six states, and in 2015 a threat forced school officials in Los Angeles to cancel classes for the second largest school system in the country.
Schools throughout the nation have been facing a rash of shooting and bomb threats. One study suggests that such threats are on the rise. In February 2015, Kenneth Trump, the president of the National School Safety and Security Services, released a study that reviewed 812 threats reported in the media from the first half of the 2014-15 school year. Threats had risen 158 percent since the first time he conducted the study in the previous year.
However, there is no comprehensive national data on school threats, and no mandate for schools or law enforcement to track them, so it’s diffucult to discern if the problem is in fact a rising trend. Meanwhile, also on Monday four students were reported injured in a school shooting in Ohio. Read more about the ongoing wave of threats to schools in our recent explainer here.