UPDATED: Schools are lifting the lockdown.
Superintendent Jim Notter just emailed select school officials with new information on the threat that has led to a lockdown at Broward County schools.
In it, Notter writes that the wife of a person believed to have written the threat in an email confirmed to authorities that it is legitimate and that the threat contained numerous ethnic and religious slurs.
"There was a female who identified herself as the wife of the sender of the email supporting the context of the email," Notter wrote. "Hence the police have determined credibility of the potential event."
The wife, according to law enforcement officials, had also complained to a local radio station, saying that her husband planned to "respond to a school in Pembroke Pines and start shooting." Then the husband sent an email to the radio station containing the threat.
Notter characterized the nature of the emailed threat as "something big."
"There has been an email indicating a generalize threat that something big was going to happen at a government facility, post office, or school," he wrote, adding that "there were various derogatory statements about ethnicity, religion, etc. in the email."
BSO is heading the investigation.
Lockdown at the schools, meanwhile, means that students must stay in the classroom where they are at the time and are forbidden to so much as go to the bathroom. I contacted my son, a sophomore at a public high school in Plantation, and he said he was eating lunch at the time so he's sitting in the auditorium. "We're just sitting here," he told me. "Other people are in their classrooms. It's a stupid little lockdown. Bye."
Inside read the full Notter email.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO YOUR SCHOOLS IMMEDIATELY:
From Jim Notter:
We will remain on districtwide lockdown, code red until such time that police authorities communicate that it is no longer necessary. Pembroke Pines police are working in unison with SIU, BSO, as well as other police authorities at their command center in Pembroke Pines. There has been an email indicating a generalized threat that something big was going to happen at a government facility, post office, or school. There were various derogatory statements about ethnicity, religion, etc., in the email. Subsequently, there was a female who identified herself as the wife of the sender of the email, supporting the context of the email. Hence, the police have determined credibility of the potential event.
The police will dictate the status and continuation of the lockdown, and will communicate said with me then I will immediately communicate with the Area Superintendents, schools, and district facilities. As of this moment, we are continuing lockdown and code red at all schools and district facilities in the county.