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UPDATED: Whatcom area schools and 911 call receivers field false reports of assaults

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — According to law enforcement agency radio transmissions, 911 call receivers took a call reporting an assault had occurred inside Sehome High School in Bellingham about 10am today, Tuesday, November 22nd, and dispatched Bellingham Police officers to the scene. While police were responding, dispatchers contacted school officials while noting they had received just the single report.

Notified of the reported incident, school officials implemented security protocols while law enforcement personnel cleared the high school to ensure no threat was present.

About 10:20am, dispatchers notified responding personnel that similar “swatting” (false reporting) incidents were being reported, including 2 in Skagit County and another in Blaine.

Western Washington University, located adjacent to the Sehome High School campus, said in an email that they had also implemented a lockdown which was also ended shortly after.

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Sehome Principal Sonia Cole issued a statement saying, “At 10:10 we had several police officers come at the school and I met them outside. They had received reports of shots fired in a classroom. These claims were absolutely false.” She added, “As soon as we connected with police, we went into a lockdown. In coordination with the police, we ended the lockdown just a few minutes later.”

Ferndale School District officials notified families of the nearby incidents saying, “We take the safety of our students seriously and as a precaution, we will be moving to a secure campus for the rest of the day and will have no outside recess.” Ferndale Police were expected to have a heightened presence around school neighborhoods as well.

We will be investigating further to determine from where the call originated. It appears there were several calls made to other schools in multiple jurisdictions this morning, all reporting the same hoax. Multiple agencies are investigating further.

Bellingham Police Department

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