Backpacks give Newton, Mass., school officials bomb scare

Even living as close to Boston as I do, I don’t always get the news about happenings in and around Boston until much later. So more than a week after it happened, I find out about yet another stupid bomb scare, this time at a high school in Newton, Mass.

Sofia Loginova, 17, a senior at North Quincy High School, started a social networking Web site, and two weekends ago gave away some 2,500 backpacks bearing her Web site address, mostly around Faneuil Hall, according to news reports.

The next Monday morning, April 9, three of them show up hanging from trees and a fourth from a fence at North Newton High School.

School officials called in the police, who promptly called in the bomb squad.

Yes, they’re still being that stupid.

State Police bomb squad technicians took down the backpacks using a robot and discovered that they were filled with shredded newspaper and that they bore the logo of a social networking website called

Officials called the incident reminiscent of a publicity stunt that threw Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville into turmoil in January. Roads and bridges were shut down as authorities investigated 38 small light-up devices that turned out to be part of a guerrilla advertising campaign for a Cartoon Network show. — Boston Globe

Loginova denies any involvement in the placement of the backpacks.

Loginova’s brother-in-law, Eric Friedberg, who has helped develop and market the site, said never directed anyone to plant the backpacks at the high school.

“The only thing I can think of is if someone took the bags that we gave and tried to do a joke on us,” said Friedberg, president of Framingham-based marketing firm CFA.

Newton police said the matter is still under investigation. “We’re not rushing or jumping to any conclusions at this point,” said Newton police spokesman Lt. Bruce Apotheker. — Boston Herald

On January 31, Boston officials terrorized their own citizens by shutting down the city over harmless light boards being used in a cartoon promotion after they had already determined the boards posed no threat. And at the end of February, officials in Boston blew up a traffic counting device installed by the state.

At least they didn’t blow up the harmless backpacks this time, so perhaps they’re learning, ever so slowly.

This is a good time to remind everyone that I can’t read every bit of news that’s generated everywhere in the world, so Homeland Stupidity relies in large part on tips sent in from readers. If you see government bureaucrats doing something stupid, please contact us.

(Thanks to Bruce Schneier.)

One thought on “Backpacks give Newton, Mass., school officials bomb scare

  • May 4, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Lemme tell you about some similar craziness that’s happened at the high school in my town. There, it’s almost become a pastime for students to write “Bomb Threat” on the walls of the bathroom stalls. The fact that the school has actually taken this obvious dumb gag seriously on many occasions is incredibly insane. They’ve actually closed down the entire school several times due to this BS. If someone was really considering planting a bomb in the school, they’d at least have the common sense not to tell everyone about it’unless they’re just plain stupid.

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