It's a sinking feeling for parents to open their emails anytime a school district has to send one of these types of updates, and for many in Dutchess County this safety alert hit close to home.

A scary situation unfolded in Wappingers Central School District on Friday May 31st.

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Threat Targeted at WCSD Elementary School

Local authorities were contacted during the late morning on Friday, May 31st following the Wappingers Central School District being notified of a 'threat of a bomb being placed at James S. Evans Elementary School.' Located on Sergeant Palmateer Way in Wappingers, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office was the first call by the district as they activated the emergency response plan. At the time the evacuation plan was put into place, a School Resource Officer from the Deputy Sheriff's Office happened to already be on site.

According to the official statement from Dr. Dwight Bonk, Superintendent of Schools, James S. Evans Elementary was evacuated around 11:40am. In addition, due to their close proximity to James S. Evans, a hold in place was activated at nearby Wappingers Junior High School.

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Threat Deemed 'Non-Credible' at James S. Evans

Following the school evacuation, local law enforcement partners completed a sweep of the school and grounds, and as of 1:10pm, according to Bonk, the theat was deemed 'non-credible.' It was also shared that all students from the school had arrived home safety.


Dr. Bonk shared his gratitude towards the many involved in helping the community during this incident. He commended the faculty and staff at Wappingers Junior High and the district Transportation Department for their key roles as well. Additionally sharing that he was most impressed by the conduct of the students, along with the support of their families.

The response to today's bomb threat by our law enforcement partners and staff  was swift and thorough. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated individuals protecting and serving our community.  I would like to specifically thank Sheriff Imperati and the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, City of Poughkeepsie Police, Hyde Park Police, and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. Assistant Superintendent Lolkema, Principal Hernandez, Principal Thompson and the staff and safety teams from both schools are to be commended for their work.

While the investigation continues, WCSD expects that the school will operate on a 'normal schedule' on Monday, June 3rd. Dr. Bonk indicated that some students may have left behind personal belongings during the evacuation, but asks that students/families wait until Monday to retrieve because of staffing and police presence.

This story will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

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