The bomb scare Jan. 26 at the Atlanta Jewish Academy Upper School is being jointly investigated by local law enforcement and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
In addition to the false threat at AJA, two Jewish schools in Orlando and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., received phoned-in bomb threats around 10 a.m. the same day.
Local authorities, working with Federation, are investigating whether the threats are connected.
“We have a group in New York and New Jersey called Secure Community Network that sends out daily info share documents,” said Cathal Lucy, Federation’s director of communitywide security. “Within that they advised us there were additional bomb threats made that day. We are working in conjunction with the local, state and federal law enforcement partners that we have here at the Federation.”
The AJA Upper School and Tapestry Public Charter School, which share a Doraville building, were evacuated just after 10 that Tuesday morning in response to a threat called in to the AJA front office. Doraville police and the DeKalb County bomb squad responded but found no evidence of an explosive device.
Students and teachers were let back into the building just after noon.
Lucy, noting that Federation has a response plan for such situations, said AJA followed the proper procedure. “Thankfully, no one was hurt, and no device was found at the school, so that’s always a positive,” he said. “Every time something like that happens, you always go through a debrief of what took place and see if there are any corrections that can be made. We’ll conduct a debrief with the schools in the near future.”
No explosives were found at the Jewish Academy of Orlando or the Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens the same morning.
“We are extremely grateful that all our students and the Tapestry students are safe and healthy,” AJA Executive Director Franeen Sarif said. “Our sincere appreciation goes out to the Doraville Police Department for their swift and professional response, and we are continuing to work with them on the ongoing investigation.”