Araluen evacuated after threatening phone call

ARALUEN Primary School in Sale was evacuated on Friday after a threatening phone call.

This follows the evacuation of Sale 545 Primary School the previous Friday following a similar threat.

It is understood it was another automated call similar to calls received across the state, interstate and overseas in the past week and a half.

The school alerted parents via the Skoolbag App, saying it was in immediate evacuation and students were being moved to the Stead Street Oval where they could be collected.

Police attended, and via the app the school later advised parents the site had been declared safe and parents could go and collect school bags, bikes and lunch orders.

One parent said some of the students were in tears.

“It makes me sick that someone is doing this to put fear in our children,” she said on social media.

“My son is at this school and when I went to pick him up some of the little kids were crying.

“The teachers and staff at Araluen did an amazing job.

“Thank you Araluen for protecting our children.”

The two Sale schools are among more than 20 Victorian schools to be evacuated as a precaution after a series of threatening hoax calls.

Education Minister James Merlino said the incidents had caused stress for school communities.

“These anonymous cowards will feel the full force of the law,” he added.

Chief Commissioner Grahram Ashton said the threats were a “hoax scenario” but each one needed to be taken seriously.

“It may be that a particular call that might come in that is not a hoax,” he told reporters last week.

The calls generally threaten bombings and shootings, and are believed to be internationally generated.

Police do not currently regard the calls as being terrorist-related and Federal police are investigating the “international elements” of the calls.

Schools in Victoria, other states and in Europe have been the target of the co-ordinated series of phoned-in threats.