Cryptic Message Prompts Threat Response at Tewksbury School

A middle school student received an anonymous message Tuesday night advising he not show up for school the next morning

A cryptic message sent anonymously to a Tewksbury, Massachusetts middle school student prompted the school to be evacuated Wednesday morning and a response from a bomb squad and other officials.

Tewksbury police chief Tim Sheehan said a John W. Wynn Middle School student received a message via the app Lipsi Tuesday night advising him not to attend school the next day. The boy questioned why but did not receive a response.

The student then took to Snapchat to share the message.

"After that, he took that information from Lipsi, he put it on his SnapChat story, and that information was obviously shared with some of his fellow students," said Sheehan.

Parents were then made aware of the perceived threat and emailed the school's principal, according to Shaheen.

School administrators received the emails Wednesday morning and notified authorities.

"With that in mind, we enacted a safety plan in the district," said Tewksbury Superintendent Christopher Malone. "It's certainly something we practice as a district and something we have had to enact prior to this."

A bomb squad was called in to help Tewksbury police search the school out of an abundance of caution.

Students were bussed to Tewksbury High School's gymnasium while officials checked the middle school property.

"She was on the bus and they diverted the bus right to the high school," said one parent, speaking about her daughter. "(I'm) very relieved. And I feel like they did a good job of communicating and responding quickly."

Video from the scene shows multiple police cruisers at the middle school.

Shortly before 11 a.m., state police confirmed all units were cleared from the scene and no hazardous items were found. The school is resuming as normal, according to Sheehan.

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