Bomb hoax disrupted 74 schools

November 15, 2023

Education Minister, Fayval Williams disclosed at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday that 74 schools have been affected by bomb threats since Thursday, November 9 when the threats began.

Williams said two schools received emails with bomb threats twice.

“All of our schools contacted the police upon receiving the email. They implemented their school safety protocols and evacuated the students and staff to a safe place,” Williams said.

The latest two threats were received on Tuesday via email. 

“Our directive as of now to our schools is to continue to take these threats seriously every time,” Williams said.

All the bomb threats so far have turned out to be hoaxes.

The events targeting schools have prompted the education ministry to formulate trauma response strategies.

The education minister said this was a collaborative effort with the ministry of health and wellness and the guidance counselling unit of the ministry. 

“It's called response to trauma events and this will be used in our schools to provide support services to students, faculty and staff who have experienced emotional distress as a result of the traumatic event,” Williams said.

Dr Horace Chang, Minister of National Security, in providing an update said the police have been monitoring the incidents carefully and are supported by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and other state agencies.

The security minister said based on the nature of the threats it appears they were designed to disrupt and create a level of confusion in society.

“However, they are being pursued aggressively and all the required resources in the security forces have been mobilised to identify and apprehend the perpetrators,” Dr Chang said.

The minister also said law enforcers have the support of their international partners. 

“That includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which have been active in support from day one,” Dr Chang said, adding that the police have been stretched, but have responded effectively.

One man has so far been arrested in relation to the hoax.

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