White powder scare prompts evacuation of two North Caldwell schools
(09/11/06) NORTH CALDWELL ? More than 1,000 students in North Caldwell endured some scary moments Monday after bags of white powder were found outside West Essex Junior High School.
The discovery prompted school officials to evacuate 1,600 students from both West Essex High School and the junior high school. Tensions among staff and students were considerably heightened considering the evacuations took place on the five-year anniversary of September 11th. After about three hours, tests determined the powder to be cornstarch, garlic powder and a harmless protein substance.
Investigators aren?t sure why the bags where left outside the school. However, they say they plan to prosecute if the incident turns out to be a prank. Police are offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.