BFS and the 1971 Bomb Scare
It proved to be a false alarm the morning of March 1,1971, at our historic home of 116 Schermerhorn, when BFS received a ominous phone call threatening, “There is a bomb planted in your building.” The fire alarm was soon activated and the buildings were evacuated, searched, then given the all-clear and BFS was able to resume a normal school day. It all took about a half-hour in 1971 – seems amazing today, but it was a smaller building and we had fewer students and employees. The March, 1971 edition of The Life tells the story and readers can learn about one of the earlier middle school carnivals which raised funds for worthy causes.
Thankfully, it was only a scare at BFS in 1971, but a planted bomb was certainly possible at that moment: bombings and bomb threats seemed to be happening all too regularly, and often at colleges and schools. In fact, two very real bombings occurred only the night before the BFS bomb threat and are mentioned in The Life article. The first was the well-known bomb explosion in the U.S. Capitol building by the Weather Underground to protest the U.S. bombing of Laos. The second was closer to home that night before: the New School for Social Research in Manhattan was the victim of a pipe bomb explosion that was allegedly planted by Puerto Rican nationalists according to 2005’s Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology by Christopher Hewitt.
In case you choose to read The Life online, many articles in The Life at BFS, particularly after 1968, were written with tongue-in-cheek and were not meant to be taken literally. “Bomb Scare Strikes School” seems to have been very straightforward reporting.