Some Mich. Schools Closed for Violence Fears, Apocalypse Rumors

The superintendent of one district said it decided to close schools on Thursday and Friday after they were flooded by calls from parents worried about shootings and the rumored apocalypse

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Dec 20, 2012  |  Updated 9:29 AM PDT
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Mich. Schools Closed for Violence Fears, Apocalypse Rumors

Dozens of Michigan school districts are canceling classes Thursday over fears about school shootings and the apocalypse.

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Some Michigan schools will be shuttered on Friday, but it's not for snow.

Schools in three Michigan counties are canceling classes Thursday and Friday, with one of them citing fears of violence after the Connecticut school shooting — as well as rumors of the end of the world, per the Mayan calendar.

The superintendent of one Lapeer County school district said he didn't want to stoke the rumors with the school closings but thought it would be counterproductive to have school in session in light of them.

The schools had already been inundated by calls from concerned parents, many of whom planned to keep their children home from school Friday anyway, said Matt Wandrie, superintendent of Lapeer Community Schools.

"Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students. Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced," he said in a letter posted on the district's blog Monday.

"Our communities are anxious, parents are concerned about the safety of their children, there are rumors that have multiplied as a result of social media, and there are threats within local districts that bring pause as to whether conducting classes would be appropriate," the Genessee Intermediate School District said in its own statement obtained by MLive.

Those fears were stoked after a false text message report of shots fired at a high school in a Flint suburb prompted a 911 call, a police response and a school lockdown.

Winter break was supposed to have begun after Friday for the affected school districts and last until the new year. With this week's school closures, students will not return to school until January.

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