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School official: 40 percent of Mason City Schools students stayed home amid threats

Police present at Mason schools today
Posted at 11:39 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 17:20:57-04

MASON, Ohio -- About 40 percent of Mason City Schools students stayed home Friday after two separate threats were made, according to spokeswoman Tracey Carson. 

According to a Facebook post by the district, the threats came from a Mason High School student who posted a threat in a Mason High School bathroom and a Mason Middle School student who stood up on a bus and announced he planned to "shoot up" his school."

A "robust law enforcement presence" was in place Friday as a precaution. 

"There's always such a delicate balance of trying to make sure that we're transparent and we're showing what's happening, and at the same time making sure that we're not adding fuel to the anxiety that people have about school security in this day in age," Carson said. 

The high schooler wrote the threat on the wall and then tried to scratch over it, but it said something like “I'm going to shoot up the school or something to that effect,” Carson said. 

The middle schooler faces "school and legal consequences." However, police are still present at schools on Friday, and children whose parents kept them home will have the absence counted as excused. Carson called the amount of absences "significant." 

"We always support a parent's decision to do what is in your best judgment when it comes to your child's safety," the post reads. "We are all working hard to share the message that making a threat is very serious and has enormous consequences for the person who does so, and a community."