School Cancels Events

ST. MARYS — School officials in St. Marys have canceled several events in the wake of a threat that made reference to a shooting on Wednesday.

St. Marys police officers began investigating the threat following a phone call from school administrators. The threat, which was not directed at any specific person or traceable back to any one person, included a reference to a shooting during a school assembly.

"No one can trace it back to where it originated," St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven told The Evening Leader. "There is nothing for us to go on — no note, no posting on Facebook. It's word of mouth. I have talked with Mr. Lewis and he said they tried to track down the source and everyone says they just heard it or saw it on Facebook."

In response to the threat, the school sent out a recorded message informing parents about the situation. As a result of the threat, officials canceled the fifth-grade DARE graduation and sixth-grade band and choir performance scheduled for Thursday and the fifth-grade band and choir performance as well as assemblies scheduled for Friday. The recording noted the school had "no conclusive evidence of a threat."

"Everyone has to take these seriously," Foxhoven said.

Police officers are visible at the high/middle school during the opening and closing of the school day. Foxhoven said he planned to beef up that presence Thursday and Friday.

"We will make it more noticeable throughout the rest of the week," Foxhoven said. "We may even have an officer walk through the school. If that eases the minds of someone, then that's good."

While there is no tangible evidence the threat was credible at this time, Foxhoven said officers and school officials must act appropriately.

"We want to be proactive," Foxhoven said. "We also don't want to overreact, but you want to make sure that we take it for what it is — a threat that no one can trace back to anyone. If we could trace it back, it's easy to talk with that person and ask them what their intentions were. With this, there is no way to track it and it's got everyone on edge."

St. Marys Superintendent Shawn Brown was unavailable for comment.