Students and parents at Mt. Abraham Union Schools say they’re feeling scared, following threats made to social media. There was an increased police presence outside the middle and high school all day.
“Students don’t feel safe, and you go to school and you want to feel safe,” junior Olivia Campbell said. “You go there to learn. At this point, the behavior at school has been escalating and escalating and it feels like this is the explosion.”
Students at Mt. Abe say even a 1% chance someone could bring a weapon to school, was enough to keep them home Friday.
“We’re feeling disturbed and concerned for people’s safety,” senior Abby Johnson said. “And just the overall well-being of our school community.”
In a note to students and parents Thurday, Principal Shannon Warden said the police presence is out of ‘an abundance of caution.” The school banned students from wearing flags as capes after they became disruptive and politically-charged.
“Parading in blue lives matter flag, blue line, ‘don’t tread on me’ flags,” Johnson said. “And racial slurs, ethnic slurs, jokes that are clearly not funny, they’re racist.”
Police also looked into posts made to social media, that caused concern. However, they determined there was nothing credible.
“It was something to the effect of ‘100 shots, 1 missed,’ and that was it,” Chief Bruce Nason said. “We take these threats seriously. We are going to investigate them and we are going to do our best to keep everyone safe.”
One student tells Local 22/44 personally, she doesn’t know anyone who attended school Friday. Both students and parents say their fear won’t disappear come Monday.
“It’s frightening,” Melissa Perry said. “I keep my son home today but what makes Monday or next week or next month any better? Just because we have police presence for one day, that doesn’t make the rest of the days safe and that’s what’s concerning.”
Melissa Perry says she’s spoken with other parents, feeling the same. She says clearer communication from the school is crucial as the reality of these threats hits close to home.
Students say they need support too.
“More support to the directly affected students and less energy on the people instigating violence,” Johnson said.