WESTFORD -- A bomb threat written on a Westford Academy bathroom wall led to an early dismissal of the high-school's students Tuesday afternoon so police and fire officials could search the building.

No bomb or other device has been found in the school, and classes are scheduled to resume as usual today.

"It's still under investigation, but we believe the building is safe," Westford Police Capt. Victor Neal said as officers left the high school after nearly three hours.

Late Tuesday morning, a student had discovered the "very brief" threat referencing a bomb and Tuesday's date and alerted faculty, said Superintendent of Schools Everett "Bill" Olsen.

The school was then evacuated and buses were called to pick students up at 12:15 p.m.

"In a situation like this, my feeling is just that it's best to make sure everyone is safe," Olsen said. "You don't want to take any chances with students."

Authorities conducted at least two searches of the school, one with a police K-9 and one aided by school staff.

Olsen said "a sizable number" of staff elected on a volunteer basis to participate in the search. They worked in teams of five, each accompanied by a public-safety official.

"The staff really intimately knows the building, so we always ask them to look for anything that appears out of place, anything that appears unusual," Olsen said. "They're a really valuable asset."

All extracurricular activities, including athletics, were canceled for Tuesday afternoon and evening.


School officials said there would be no access to the building Tuesday night, as a precautionary measure.

Olsen said he'd meet with other administrators to determine if Westford Academy students would be required to make up the school day later in the year.

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