HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The number of threats to schools in Connecticut has been declining in recent years, falling to 35 in 2014-2015 from levels more than twice as high, according to the state Department of Education.
The decline bucks a national trend which police, security consultants and others say threats to schools are increasing .
In Connecticut, 88 threats to schools were reported in the 2010-2011 school year and that number rose slightly to 90 the following year before falling in each of the next three years. The Education Department tally reflects any threat to bomb or cause damage to a school or students and staff that led to involvement of police or security personnel.
As elsewhere, the threats can lead to major classroom disruptions, as police must investigate.
Some of the scares that led to school lockdowns or closings around the state in the last school year:
On June 9, city and state police responded to Prince Technical High School in Hartford on June 9 after getting a report that a student had a gun and was threatening to harm others. Students hid under desks and the school was locked down for three hours. The investigation found a threat to shoot up the school had been posted anonymously to social media, and a 17-year-old boy was charged with threatening and breach of peace.
Over two days in March, separate threats led to the evacuation of the same high school in Milford, Platt Tech High School. On the first day, students were dismissed early after a bomb threat was made against the school. On the second day, the state police brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to check the building in response to a threat before students were allowed to return.
An alleged bomb threat at East Haven High School in October was found to be based on a misinterpretation of a student’s comment, but not before the school was evacuated. The rumor circulated widely on social media. It took several hours for the school to be cleared after the school was told a student was making threatening comments.