Mansfield school evacuated after powder found
MANSFIELD, Mass. (WHDH) -- Robinson Elementary School in Mansfield was evacuated Thursday morning after a powdery substance contained in a letter was sent to the school.
School officials made the decision to evacuate all students in the building; kindergarten, first, and second grades, as a precaution.
FBI and local police are investigating to see whether the incident is connected to other similar ones that have occurred in the past months.
“I was scared. Mrs.Keanie, she gets a phone call and I was starting to be -- we start hurrying down the middle school,” said Cody Gordon, a first grader.
The white powder was quickly contained, but parents received automated calls and didn't know what to think.
“I was frightened, but like I said, they did say it was non-threatening, so I do trust the schools that they are telling us the truth. But it does make me sad that it did happen,” said Kathy Gordon, a parent.
Police say the substance was found just before 11 a.m. A woman working in the office of the elementary school opened a letter, and found a white powder inside.
The worker washed her hands and called 911 right away.
“We did evaluate one patient. She was one of the office workers, and we transported her to Norwood Hospitals strictly as a precaution,” said Chief Neal Boldrighini, Mansfield Fire Department.
The state's specially trained hazardous materials team was called in. The white powder was found with a typed note containing "nonsensical gripes” according to the chief.
“Overall investigation is being turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This is similar to incidents in other parts of the country,” said Chief Arthur O’Neill, Mansfield Police Department.
It turns out the threat was planned, but it was a harmless substance.
“I suppose it would be scary if these were popping up as anthrax or something, but it hasn’t been popping up that way so I kind of figured it wasn’t real,” said Cindy Hickey, a parent.
A similar incident occurred at a school in Rowe, Massachusetts on Wednesday.