WESTFIELD, NJ — Parents of Westlake School, Lamberts Mill Academy and Hillcrest Academy South students were told Friday morning that their children were being evacuated for the fifth time in two weeks after a bomb threat was received at 9:45 a.m.
The schools, located in the Union County Educational Services complex at 1571 Lamberts Mill Road, were evacuated twice Thursday, once on Wednesday and once the week before for bomb threats. Each time, the Westfield Police were called and dogs from the Union County K-9 Unit were brought in to sniff for explosives.
One parent of a boy at Westlake called the situation “unreal.”
“I’m really nervous about my son’s safety because you never know if this time it’s just a threat or will something actually happen, or if the next time will something happen,” Mike Lloyd said. “I have my son wearing long sleeves every day because they have to walk almost a block to the church when this happens and there is no time to grab a coat. I hope that they catch whoever is doing this pretty quick because it’s very frustrating at this point.”
Michael Kowalski, director of people and personnel services for Union County Educational Services said Thursday that the UCES was working very close with both the Westfield Police Department and the Union County’s Sheriff’s Office to find the source of the threats. He encouraged anyone who has information to call Superintendent Terry Foppert at 908-789-8643.
Westlake School specializes in serving classified students from ages 7 to 21 who have multiple disabilities including cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, visual impairments, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, communication impairments, other heath impairments and traumatic brain injuries.
Lamberts Mill Academy is an educational program designed for students who require a comprehensive psycho-therapeutic approach in an educational setting. The program offers intensive clinical and psychiatric services as well as a wide range of educational programs aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS).
Hillcrest Academy is a school that is designed to assist students in becoming academically successful in a non-traditional high school.
To read our previous story, click here.
Additional reporting by Kathy Lloyd.