A HUNTER school is believed to be one of 30 targeted by online threats that have disrupted students doing their HSC biology exam.
TheMercury understands that Merriwa Central School was included in Wednesday's attack, the second day schools have been the target of threatening emails after several Sydney locations received bomb threats on Tuesday.
According to NSW Police, schools enacted their emergency response plans, which included evacuations, causing significant disruptions to students and staff members.
Local officers, assisted by specialist police, conducted extensive searches at each of the schools, and no items of interest were found.
Detectives from the Cybercrime Squad have now established Strike Force Rolum to investigate the circumstances and origins of the emails.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott warned offenders that a maximum sentence of 10 years incarceration could await them if charged over the attacks.
"We won't allow you to interrupt the future of these thousands of young people," he said in a press conference on Wednesday.
"They have gone through too much in a very, very difficult year.
"We cannot allow this kind of bastard behaviour.
He also told students not to worry about the hoax emails and encouraged them to "dust yourself off and get on with the job".
The NSW Education Standards Authority confirmed the morning's biology exam was interrupted at numerous schools by the emails.
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"NESA is continuing to work closely with the school sectors to support HSC students," a statement said.
"NESA has rigorous and longstanding processes to make sure affected students get a fair result."
Where an exam is interrupted for 40 minutes or more at a school, students will be dismissed by the Presiding Officer and affected students will not have to re-sit exam.
Schools can also submit to NESA group applications for illness and misadventure on behalf of affected students.
Secretary of NSW Department of Education Mark Scott described the emails as a disruption and said it was "very disappointing".
He said at least 300 students were forced to evacuate while sitting the biology exam on Wednesday, but many were able to resume their exams.
"Parents and students should appreciate that our schools are overwhelmingly safe places," he said.
"The safety of our students and our staff are our absolute top priority. All schools were deemed to be safe."
Merriwa Central School was contacted by the Herald but was unable to release a statement.
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