On Thursday September 22nd, Perkiomen Valley High School suddenly announced that they were sending students home early, starting with high school students at 1:15, middle school students at 1:30 and elementary students at 2:15 p.m. All after school events, including sports and the elementary meet the teacher night, were canceled.
Multiple PA schools received identical threats that were debunked as fakes or swatting attempts, but PV received an additional targeted bomb threat connected to the recent debate around potential bathroom policy.
The Pottstown Mercury released an article containing the email that was sent to the district which stated that, “We have placed a bombs at Perkiomen Valley High School, district building and a target.” The message ends with, “YOU WILL UNDO THIS BATHROOM DECISION OR YOU WILL CONTINUE TO FACE OUR WRATH.”
The threat was sent in retaliation to the sex-based proposed bathroom policy which was voted against by the school board in a 5-4 majority. Recently, the policy has come under fire at school board meetings and the board’s decision was the cause of a student walkout.
A letter emailed to the district later that afternoon, by superintendent Dr. Russell, clarified that the decision to dismiss students was made in discussions with “our chief of police (Mr. Miller), PA state police, the Lower Frederick Police Department, and the Montgomery County Department of public safety,” in order to “prioritize student safety.” Walkthroughs to search for any potential hazards were performed in all of the district buildings, and it is reported that none were found.
The message further stated that “At no time was the District made aware of the presence of a potential weapon, specifically a firearm, on our premises,” and that “at no point were our students in direct danger. Our actions today were driven solely by the alarming content of the email received and our unwavering commitment to the safety of our students and staff.”