Following threat will local students go to school Monday? - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Following threat will local students go to school Monday?

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It's what parents have been talking about this week.  A threat found in the bathroom of the Elkhart BMV.  The threat?  To harm students at schools in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties on Monday, April 15th.  Now parents are deciding whether or not to send their kids to school Monday.

Patti Knowles is sending her 6th grader to school on Monday.  "Ya just say a prayer and send them off," said Knowles.  She's not too concerned about the threat to harm students on April 15th.  "I think we just have to put our faith in the school administration and law enforcement to keep our kids safe and if they don't think it's anything to worry about then personally I'm not going to worry about it."

Law enforcement in both Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties are preparing.  They'll have a few extra officers in place.  Captain Phil Trent with the South Bend Police Department said, "It's on our radar and we'll be well attuned to what's going on in the school day."  He said the students will be well protected.  "Because of what we have in place already we don't have to go through great pains to supplement the number of officers we have ready and able to respond to schools."

With the date mentioned on the graffiti in the BMV bathroom quickly approaching some parents say they'll take the weekend to decide whether to send their kids on Monday.   Others have already made up their minds.  Some parents said their kids are staying home but Friday more parents were agreeing with Myra Sweeney who said, "I am sending him to school Monday."  Bill Price said, "I'm pretty sure we'll be sending our kids to school on Monday.  The threat seemed pretty vague.  It just didn't rise to the level where we had to make special plans or disrupt our regular schedule." 

So if parents keep their kids at home the big question is, will it be an excused absence?
We posed that question to multiple districts.  South Bend Schools did not return our call.  But  School City of Mishawaka, Penn-Harris-Madison, and Elkart Community Schools all say "yes" it will be excused.  Anytime a parent is worried about safety they understand.  Late in the day Elkhart Community Schools told us they had some reservations about putting the word out there about excused absences on Monday.  We understand they don't want parents or students taking advantage of the situation but with so many parents asking the question we felt is was important to give you the information we were told.

 

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