Cupertino Schools Closed Following Bomb Threat

The school was cleared after a four-hour search

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies are at a high school in Cupertino this morning investigating a bomb threat at the school. A specific male teacher, whose name hasn't been released, was referenced in the threat. Kimberly Tere shows us what happened. (Published Thursday, Dec 13, 2012)

    Two Cupertino schools were canceled Thursday after someone threatened to bomb a high school and kill a teacher, though after a four-hour search, the bomb squad found nothing.

    Authorities said that the schools are expected to be open on Friday, where a heavy police prescence is planned.

    Bomb Threat Prompts School Closures in Cupertino

    [BAY] Bomb Threat Prompts School Closures in Cupertino
    Two Cupertino schools were canceled Thursday after someone threatened to bomb a high school and kill a teacher. Arturo Santiago reports. (Published Thursday, Dec 13, 2012)

    NBC Bay Area obtained a photo of the graffiti, discovered about 6:40 a.m. at Lynbrook High School in San Jose.

    There was a separate message written earlier on another school, authorities have told NBC Bay Area. The one pictured below came from a student and was apparently written on Kennedy Middle School, though exactly when is unclear. The one pictured said: "I planted a bomb at Manta Vista to kill (teacher's name.)"

    NBC Bay Area is not naming the teacher for that person's safety. The tagging found at Kennedy was done in light blue paint or chalk. Authorities say this photo is circulating on social media.

    Both Monta Vista and Lincoln Elementary School, both of which are on McClellan Avenue, were closed as a precaution, so that Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies could search the campuses. Even though the scene was cleared just before noon - and no explosives were found - the schools were still closed for the day.

    It is unclear why the tagging would be at Kennedy and Lynbrook, with a harmful reference to a school and teacher at Monta Vista.
     

    NBC Bay Area talked to the teacher's neighbor, who said the man is a great teacher and a great guy. The neighbor said he saw a patrol car outside the teacher's home overnight, and that the teacher looked "concerned" Thursday morning. The teacher was not at home on Thursday when NBC Bay Area went to his home.

    The scare was unusual, but not unheard of, in this affluent community, where schools are stellar and life is normally quiet and safe. Students received automated calls and email alerts. Wendy Gudalweicz, the superintendent of the Cupertino Union School District, put up web notices also about the closure. The high schools - Lynbrook and Monta Vista - belong to the Fremont Union High School District.

    Several students said they really liked the teacher who was targeted. Both Donovan Phua and Celine Mol told NBC Bay Area that he is one of their favorite teachers.

    Roshan Varadarajan, 17, a senior at Monta Vista said he woke up at 6:40 a.m. to head to school, only to be turned around by police about 7 a.m. telling to go home that school was canceled. He received an automated phone call about the cancellation about 7:15 a.m.

    "If everything turns out to be OK, then yeah, it will have been fun to have a day off," Roshan said. "But none of us want anything bad to happen."

    Ajay Athavale, whose son, Mihir, is a junior at Monta Vista, said the entire ordeal is a big inconvenience: His son is missing an American Studies final today. Still, he said it's lucky that his son is old enough to stay home alone, but he feels badly for parents of children at Lincoln Elementary who must scramble to get childcare for their children.

    As for a silver lining, some students said they will spend the day studying because there are more finals next week.

    Last fall, some schools in Cupertino were shut down as a precautionary measure after a quarry worker, Shareef Allman, went on a workplace rampage killing two fellow employees and leaving six others wounded.

     NBC  Bay Area's Kim Tere and Arturo Santiago contributed to this report.

    Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com.

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