A school district outside Philadelphia sent thousands of students home early on Thursday after officials there received an emailed threat promising death and destruction if trans students were allowed to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
In a post on Facebook, Perkiomen Valley School District, located about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, said it had been forced to carry out an early dismissal after receiving threats “specific” to the district.
The school board has been debating whether they and other students should be able to use the bathrooms of their choosing, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
That debate has attracted national attention from conservative and right-wing media outlets. A recent walkout by some students who want the school board to bar transgender students from deciding which bathroom to use — sparked, in part, by a parent — was covered by Fox News, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Signal, among others, in the days ahead of Thursday’s incident.
A copy of the threat officials were sent was shared by The Pottstown Mercury, which reported that the district had made the decision to close after consulting with local law enforcement. Classes resumed Friday.
“We placed a bombs at Perkiomen Valley High School, district buildings and a target [sic],” the email stated. (Tara Parr, supervisor of communications and technology systems at the school district, confirmed to Insider that the reported message was the one the school received.)
Target, which operates a store a few miles from the school — and was the target of a right-wing boycott over its in-store LGBTQ+ Pride displays — did not immediately confirm whether it had received or was otherwise made aware of the threat.