WMDT 47 NEWS - In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Friday, schools around the country, including here on Delmarva are dealing with heightened senses about threats.
WMDT spoke with Worcester County school board officials who tell us that they have investigated rumors about something happening at schools on Friday, and that the hype apparently stems from online chatter about the date 12/21. From what the officials say the talks were of "catastrophic events" that are potentially to happen on that date, however those events that are being referred to are the so called "Mayan Apocalypse." A letter will be sent to parents this evening with details. Superintendent Jerry Wilson, released the following statement.
"As schools across our country reflect on the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, most school systems – like Worcester County Public Schools – are in the process of evaluating school safety measures and practices.
During this time of mourning and reflection, several media outlets across the state and nation have been reporting that various rumors pertaining to school safety have surfaced at many.
Such has been the case at Stephen Decatur High School. Rumors at the high school have been taken seriously and have been thoroughly investigated. Law enforcement has assisted.
Stephen Decatur High School is safe, and the rumors have been proven false. Our school system has a hard-line, no-tolerance policy for Code of Conduct violations. The school system and our schools are committed to providing safe learning environments. We are vigilant about school safety."
WMDT has also been in touch with Wicomico County Schools who say that they too have been investigating similar rumors, also surrounding the so called "Mayan Apocalypse." If they receive any viable threats, parents will be notified, at this time there is no need to do so.
When we spoke with Superintendent John E. Fredericksen he said "We have had some vague items and some more specific. But as we've tracked each and every rumor that we've followed up on, they all end up with the Mayan Calendar basically."
Superintendent Fredericksen, also released the following statement:
"We appreciate hearing from parents and students and school safety concerns. Our schools are safe. We have highly trained and committed staff of our own in place as well as others from outside agencies prepared to do whatever it takes to keep your child safe. We have made appropriate adjustments in our systems, tools, and personnel to address existing and potential concerns. Our number one goal is safety and our teams are practiced at keeping things safe.
We recognize that rumors exist about various concerns and we are addressing them as needed. Many rumors have been circulating this week, and we have been working in cooperation with law enforcement personnel to investigate each report of a rumor. To this point, none of the rumors has been found to have a basis in fact.
When one looks at where students are safest, it's in their school, so please encourage your child to attend every day. We respect the right of parents and guardians to make decisions about school attendance, but feel that students will be safe every day at school. Please help by reassuring your student that the school is safe and that there is a large family of staff, volunteers, other parents and students who are here to help keep everyone safe.
Please keep in contact with your student's school, should you have information that we haven't learned about yet.
John E. Fredericksen, Ph.D.
Wicomico County parents can direct all questions to 410-677-5251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.