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Update No. 2: Investigation continues into statewide hoax school threats






Investigation continues into statewide hoax school threats

Statewide, 21 schools grades K-12 were targeted by false reports of shootings


MONTPELIER, Vermont (Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023) — The investigation is continuing into a series of hoax calls that targeted K-12 schools across Vermont on Wednesday with false reports of shootings.


Vermont law enforcement is aware of 21 schools that were targeted by the calls, which were received from 8:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. at the main line of a dispatch center, police department or town office. All of the threats were determined to be unfounded.


“Today’s calls were a hoax but were acted on quickly and professionally to ensure the safety of our students and teachers,” Gov. Phil Scott said. “I commend the response of local and state first responders — many of whom are volunteers — as well as school administrators, staff and educators across the state. It is critical we take any threat seriously, and I appreciate that every one of them did so.” 


Schools targeted by the calls were:


  1. Alburgh Community Education Center – Alburgh, VT

  2. Brattleboro High School – Brattleboro, VT

  3. Christ the King School – Rutland, VT

  4. Colchester High School – Colchester, VT

  5. East Burke School – East Burke, VT

  6. Enosburgh High School – Enosburgh, VT

  7. Essex High School – Essex, VT

  8. Fair Haven High School – Fair Haven, VT

  9. Grace Christian School – Bennington, VT

  10. Middlebury Union High School – Middlebury, VT

  11. Milton High School – Milton, VT

  12. Missisquoi Valley Union High School – Swanton, VT

  13. Montpelier High School – Montpelier, VT

  14. Newport City Elementary School – Newport, VT

  15. North Country Union High School – Newport, VT

  16. North Country Union Junior High School – Derby, VT

  17. Otter Valley Union High School – Brandon, VT

  18. Randolph Union High School – Randolph, VT

  19. Rice Memorial High School – South Burlington, VT

  20. St. Albans City Elementary School – St Albans, VT

  21. United Christian Academy – Newport, VT


The Vermont State Police is working with local and federal law-enforcement partners to investigate the calls, which share similarities with other incidents that have occurred nationwide in recent weeks and months.


Initial investigation in Vermont has determined all the calls were placed via a VOIP service, and none originated from a spoofed 802 area code as some initial reporting had indicated. The calls also appear to have been made by a person and are not believed at this time to have been automated.


“I want to thank all the first responders across Vermont who reacted to these threats with urgency and care, in accordance with their training,” Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison said. “State and local police, sheriffs, fire departments, emergency medical services, dispatchers, and others responded to schools, coordinated with educators, worked with students, ensured the situation was safe, and confirmed that these calls were the result of a hoax perpetrated by someone bent on nothing more than sowing chaos and fear. I’m especially grateful to our volunteer first responders, whose selflessness contributed to the quick determination that Vermont’s schools remained safe and secure.”


Secretary of Education Dan French said: “I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to Vermont’s educators and school leaders, and our partners in law enforcement and in the community for their hard work today to respond and ensure student health and safety.”


“These incidents can have a significant and often traumatic impact on students, staff and families,” French continued. “Schools will be working hard in the coming days to support their communities as we navigate the aftermath of this incident. I ask all Vermonters to join me in expressing our support for local schools in your community.”



***Update No. 1, 11:05 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023***

A news conference to discuss today’s hoax school threat calls across Vermont will take place at noon today at the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the Statehouse in Montpelier.


Gov. Phil Scott will be joined by Secretary of Education Dan French, Commissioner of Public Safety Jennifer Morrison, Vermont State Police Director Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, and Rob Evans, Vermont’s school safety liaison.


Remote access to the news conference will be available. Members of the media wishing to access the livestream should email Vermont State Police Public Information Officer Adam Silverman at for the link.



***Initial news release, 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023***

Multiple law enforcement agencies across Vermont are receiving calls reporting shootings at local schools. At this time, none of these threats is believed to be credible, and the incidents appear to be hoaxes.


The calls have been reported to originate from VOIP phone numbers or potentially spoofed 802 numbers and appear to be associated with ongoing nationwide hoax phone threats of school shootings, bomb threats, and other violent events that have proved to be unfounded.


The Governor’s Office, Agency of Education, Department of Public Safety, Vermont State Police, Vermont Intelligence Center and local law-enforcement agencies are actively engaged in the response to these calls.


Further information will be available at a news conference expected to be held later today at the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Details of the news conference will be released as soon as they are available.


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