The e-mailed bomb threat that led police to evacuate Philadelphia School District headquarters over the weekend was addressed to Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman and makes a reference to "fellow teachers," according to a copy obtained by The Inquirer.

Law enforcement officials have zeroed in on a suspect and on Wednesday seized computers at a school in connection with the threat sent Saturday night to the district's webmaster, a knowledgeable source said.

The source declined to name the school where the computers were confiscated.

The e-mail said Ackerman was seeking to "MUTE . . . fellow teachers by banishing them to a basement just because they spoke their mind."

"Come Monday morning @ 12.00 a bomb will be detonated," according to the e-mail. "This will send a strong and clear message that a change needs to happen now."

After evacuating district headquarters, police in conjunction with Homeland Security agents conducted a thorough search, using dogs, but uncovered no explosives.

School District spokeswoman Shana Kemp declined to comment on the e-mail and the investigation Thursday afternoon, saying it was a police matter.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Raymond Evers declined to say whether the department had a suspect. He said police continued to investigate the e-mail and where it originated, using forensic analysis.

"There have been numerous interviews of School District and non-School District employees," he said. "We are using all investigative tools to see where it came from, but we will not discuss any fruits uncovered from our investigative processes. . . . We're confident we'll have some resolution."

This week, there was some disagreement between police and School District officials over whether the e-mail threatened Ackerman directly. The district said it viewed the e-mail as a threat to Ackerman.

The first paragraph of the e-mail asks Ackerman to "Please read this carefully" and takes issue with her tenure as superintendent, which began in summer 2008.

The e-mail said the writer had been "watching" her tenure and once was one of her biggest supporters.

"I realized I was wrong, very wrong," the e-mail said. "Its [sic] like you have been going down the deep end in handling the SD affairs. Enough is enough and I have decided to take action."

The e-mail then refers to teachers who have been disciplined and laments the state of school safety:

"No longer will you claim to increase safety in our school district but yet students continue to get abused everyday [sic] while at school."

After warning of a bomb, the e-mail said, "Don't worry lives shouldn't be lost but believe me tears will be shed. I hope this serves as a wake up call to you and your staff."

The e-mail follows a high-profile case in February in which Audenried High School teacher Hope Moffett was stripped of her teaching duties and sent to a basement administrative room, dubbed "teacher jail."

Despite receiving positive evaluations, Moffett faced firing for giving students bus tokens to travel to a demonstration opposing Audenried's conversion and then talking to the media about being disciplined.

Teachers rallied on her behalf, and the district backed off after the union sued. Moffett has since returned to teaching at Audenried.

Moffett said Thursday night that police had not interviewed her.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan said he had not heard about computers being confiscated from a school in connection with the investigation. He called the e-mail "reprehensible behavior."

"There is not an argument I can make to justify that kind of negative behavior," Jordan said. "We can have disagreements, but that's not the way to resolve them."

The E-mail Threat

This is the unedited text the district received.

 Arlene C. Ackerman,

Please read this carefully. I have been watching your tenure as head of the Philadelphia School District for quite some time. At first I was one of your biggest supporters but then I realized I was wrong, very wrong. Its like you have been going down the deep end in handling the SD affairs. Enough is enough and I have decided to take action. No longer will you MUTE by fellow teachers by banishing them to a basement just because they spoke their mind. No longer will you claim to increase safety in our school district but yet students continue to get abused everyday while at school.

*Come Monday morning @ 12.00 a bomb will be detonated at 440 N. Broad St*. This will send a strong and clear message that a change needs to happen now. No more lip service. Don't worry lives shouldn't be lost but believe me tears will be shed. I hope this serves as a wake up call to you and your staff.

- School District Employee

EndText