Threats shut down 2 Indiana school districts; 2 students arrested
Just two days after a terror threat shut down the Los Angeles Unified School District, two Indiana public school districts were closed Thursday due to online threats.
At 4:58 a.m. Eastern time, the Plainfield Community School Corporation (PCSC) tweeted all of its schools would be closed after a threat was made to the district's high school.
"A threat has been directed to the high school, and the safety and security of all students is our highest priority," a message on the PCSC website read.
The district said it was working with the Plainfield Police Department on the ongoing investigation. PCSC added that classes would resume Jan. 4, as Thursday was to be the last day of school for students before winter break.
The Danville Community School Corporation (DCSC) posted a message on its Facebook page Wednesday night saying it had been working with local police to investigate "an unconfirmed rumor that a student was planning to bring a gun to school tomorrow on Thursday," but that classes would go on as scheduled because "no credible evidence has been revealed to support this rumor."
But by Thursday morning the district had received more threats. DCSC tweeted at 6:37 a.m. that its schools would also be closed, "due to newly received threats toward the school system received overnight."
Thursday also marked the end of the semester for Danville students.
Danville police said in a news conference at Danville High School Thursday morning that two students--a freshman and senior--had been arrested in connection with threats made to Danville schools on Wednesday. They have been charged with intimidation and may face additional charges.
DCSC Superintendent Dr. Tracey Shafer said the two students had been arrested late Wednesday night in relation to threats made separately from those later made to Danville and Plainfield schools overnight.
"We don't know that these two events are related at all," he said. "As far as we're concerned, from the school standpoint, we believe the situation that arose earlier yesterday has been resolved."
Police said the latter threats made to the two neighboring school districts early Thursday morning were related; the suspect reportedly threatened DCSC after his or her threat to PCSC resulted in its closure.
Danville Police Chief William Wright said, "There is also a third threat that was received early this morning that is tied to the Plainfield [Community] School Corporation threat."
Shafer agreed, "We believe that it's a possibility the person who is making the threats at Plainfield may also be the same person making the threats related to Danville. That's as much as we're aware of right now."
Wright had words for the person who threatened the two districts: "Get ready to go to jail. We're just flat-out not gonna put up with it. You're not gonna come into our community and threaten our kids or any of the neighboring communities here. We take this very seriously."
The towns of Danville and Plainfield are roughly 10 miles apart, just west of Indianapolis.
Nearby school districts were on high alert after the threats made in Danville and Plainfield.
School districts in Dallas, Houston, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida all received terror threats, but remained open Thursday after the threats were deemed non-credible.
On Tuesday, both New York City Public Schools and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's first- and second-largest public school districts, respectively, received terror threats believed to be hoaxes. As a precaution, the Los Angeles district closed its schools for the day, while New York officials quickly deemed the threat non-credible and kept schools open.