An anonymous letter threatening the lives of elementary school students in three Rhode Island communities was sent to Johnston police on Tuesday, with the contents of the letter under wraps until today. On Wednesday, officials told NBC 10 that the letter stated that a “beheading is planned” in the cities of Johnston, Warwick, and Cranston.
The threat was directed at elementary school students in all three cities. The letter stated that the beheadings would reportedly be carried out at some point between Wednesday and Friday of this week. While Lt. Matthew Moynihan tells WPRO morning news that the validity of the threat has yet to be determined, parents of school-aged children in Rhode Island are frantic.
“This is coming to a point of home schooling our children, so we can secure their safety.”
Parents were notified on Wednesday by telephone and email that there was a threat in their community. Many parents chose not to send their children to school on Wednesday, with WPRI 12 reporting at at least 1/3 of Cranston students were absent from school, and 40 percent of the students in Johnston stayed home.
The Warwick school system has yet to report the number of students who were kept home today, but hundreds of comments on Facebook about the threat mention that a large number of children were being kept home in all three cities.
“School should be cancelled in those cities tomorrow until they figure out if it is a real threat. Why risk kids and teacher’s lives?”
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian tells Eyewitness News that he plans to visit every elementary school in Warwick on Wednesday to make sure the “school staff and students are OK.”
Really? People calling & making threats 2 the RI public schools saying their gonna b beheading kids? I would love 2 catch 1 of these SCUMS!!
— MiKEAWESOME (@TheMikeAwesome) October 8, 2014
For an extra measure of safety, children attending elementary school in all three cities will have indoor recess and gym. All school doors will be locked throughout the day, and an I.D. will be required to gain entry. WPRI reports that police officers, both undercover and uniformed, will be present in elementary schools for the remainder of the week to “ensure the safety of students and teachers.”
[Quotes: WPRI News Facebook Image: Brian Yokono/WPRI]