Considering what happened in Florida just last week, Carthage parents were understandably alarmed when they got text messages and voice messages from the School District on Monday about “rumors of threats by individuals.”
Considering what happened in Florida just last week, Carthage parents were understandably alarmed when they got text messages and voice messages from the Carthage R-9 School District on Monday about “rumors of threats by individuals.”
Parents posted screen shots of the text messages to social media and one parent texted the voice message she received to The Carthage Press.
The voice message said: “This message is from the Carthage R-9 School District. There have been many rumors circulating today regarding threats by individuals. All situations have been investigated and all have been found inaccurate. Thank you.”
Carthage Superintendent Mark Baker said he couldn't provide any details of the perceived threats, but he did talk some about how the district went about checking on them.
“We would notify parents if there was any aspect that was true, especially in light of what happened in Florida,” Baker said after Monday's regular February Board of Education meeting.
“When we hear of something like this, teachers and administrators investigate it thoroughly,” Baker said. “If it comes from outside the schools, we call in law enforcement. We investigated it and there was absolutely no fact to these rumors.”
Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said the police department has increased the presence of officers at Carthage schools as a deterrent and to ease the fears of parents and students in the wake of the Florida shootings.
Dagnan said the increased presence is not a result of any threat to Carthage schools. He said officers helped the district look into the rumors that were spreading on Monday.
"We've worked with the district to look into several rumors of threats and we've found nothing credible," Dagnan said. "I know parents hear that and they want more details, but that's the thing, there is nothing credible, so there are no more details."
Dagnan said the deployment of officers to the schools has become, sadly, a routine after school shootings anywhere in the country.
"It's part of normal operations," Dagnan said. "We feel it's our obligation to do it but parents should not be concerned. Everyone is focused on the Florida school shooting and we're making every effort to make sure our children are safe."