Sidwell Friends—the school President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend—evacuated students and staff from its Wisconsin Avenue campus this morning following a phoned-in threat. The details of the threat and whether it had any connection to the First Family daughters was not immediately available Thursday morning.
The following message was distributed through the school’s emergency notification system around 11:30 AM today: “This is an emergency message from Sidwell Friends School. Due to a suspicious phone call, the buildings on the Wisconsin Avenue campus have been evacuated. We will notify you when further information is available.”
Threats at the school are not entirely uncommon, according to current and former students, who have weathered the random phone threats that come with modern high school life. Following standard protocol this morning, students were taken to the campus soccer field after being evacuated from the building.
UPDATE 11:57 AM: An all-clear signal has now been given and students are returning to the campus, according to a parent.
UPDATE 12:08 PM: We reached the school’s security office, but representatives declined to comment on the situation.
UPDATE 12:25 PM: Shortly after noon, Sidwell Friends sent this message to parents: “As reported earlier, the School received a suspicious phone call and evacuated the buildings on the Wisconsin Avenue campus. After an investigation by law enforcement officials, it was determined that students were not at risk. They have returned to class.”
There’s no information yet on how or to where the Obama girls were evacuated.
We did receive a phone call from Ellis Turner, the associate head of Sidwell Friends, who confirmed that students had returned to their classes. He said the suspicious phone call came into the school’s administrative offices. He would not say who took the call or whether the caller was male or female.