Berkley High School evacuated due to bomb threat

Posted at 9:12 AM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 18:43:25-04

Berkley High School was evacuated this morning due to a phoned-in bomb threat.

Berkley High School is located at 2325 Catalpa Drive. The all clear was later given, and school was cancelled for the day.

The superintendent says they do not believe the threat is credible, but out of an abundance of caution, the school dismissed students for the day. 

This letter was later sent home:

Dear Berkley Schools Community,

I write to update you regarding the bomb threat at Berkley High School today. Bomb sniffing dogs were lead by law enforcement officers over the entire building and found no trace of a bomb. We were given the "all clear" sometime after 11:00 this morning.

I want to thank Berkley Public Safety for their quick response. I also want to thank the Michigan State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Macomb County Sheriff's Department, the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, the Detroit Police Department, the Detroit Police Bomb Squad, Wayne State University Public Safety, Detroit Public Schools Police, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Oakland Schools. All of these agencies and departments either responded with their presence at BHS or were consulted throughout this process or both. I would also like to thank our students, our teachers, staff and our administrative team who reacted quickly and rationally.

There have been a few questions as to why students were let in to the building if we had received a threat the night before. To be clear, a threatening message was left on an employee's voice mail. That employee reports to work at 7:30 AM and first checked her voice mail at approximately 7:35 AM. As you may know, most of our students are in school before 7:35 AM. She immediately let BHS Principal Randy Gawel know about the threat and he immediately called Berkley Public Safety. They arrived at BHS within minutes and we began the process of consulting with experts from the multiple agencies listed above, assessing the threat and determining the best course of action. The first priority for everyone involved was and remains the safety and care of all of our students. The overwhelming, coordinated and professional response from the public safety community is certainly evidence of that.

As with any emergency, we'll take time to debrief our procedures and look for ways to improve. We'll also support our law enforcement agencies as they investigate this matter. My deep thanks to our entire team at BHS and throughout the District for their quick and professional response. Thanks too to all of you for your support and encouragement in this matter and in all of our efforts.

Dennis McDavid
Berkley School District

An investigation is underway.