The two local schools were among Jewish institutions across the US targeted in the latest wave of bomb threats.
Two Jewish day schools in the Greater Washington area were targeted with bomb threats as the school day began on Monday morning February 27.
Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax received a bomb threat by phone at 9:19 A.M., and the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School's Upper School in Rockville received a similar threat at 9:22 A.M. Both schools immediately contacted the police.
Police departments in Montgomery County and Fairfax County rushed to the scenes – police were on site within 2 minutes according to Gesher head of school Dan Finkel. After consultation with police, Gesher's 143 students evacuated the building and CESJDS Upper School students gathered in the auditorium. Officers and canines searched both schools for explosives.
In both cases, the police found no evidence of explosives and classes resumed at both schools by 11 A.M. “Once we established that it was safe,” Finkel said, “getting open again was our priority.”
"They cleared the school, no threat was found," Montgomery County Police Information Officer Rick Goodale stated. "And now [our detectives] are trying to determine who made the threat.” Fairfax County Police Spokesperson Don Gotthardt said that their investigators are aware of the incident in Rockville and will work with Montgomery County police as needed to find the culprit.
Kol HaBirah will be covering this news as it unfolds and will include interviews with law enforcement, community leaders and more in our upcoming print issue, hitting the stands March 2.
Gabe Aaronson is a special correspondent for Kol HaBirah.