On Tuesday, Rhode Island officials received an anonymous letter threatening the lives of elementary school students in three communities.
The letter—the contents of which were initially kept confidential—was sent to Johnston police.
On Wednesday, officials said that the letter stated that a “beheading is planned” in three cities: Johnston, Warwick, and Cranston.
The letter stated that the beheadings would reportedly be carried out at some point between Wednesday and Friday of this week.
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On Wednesday, parents were notified by telephone and email that there was a threat in their community.
Many parents chose not to send their children to school. In fact, Inquisitr reports that at least one-third of Cranston students were absent from school; 40% of students in Johnston stayed home.
Although Lt. Matthew Moynihan stated that the validity of the threats has yet to be determined, hundreds of comments on Facebook about the threat mentioned that many children were being kept home from school in all three cities.
“School should be cancelled in those cities tomorrow until they figure out if it is a real threat. Why risk kids and teacher’s lives?” read one of the comments.
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As a heightened security measure, elementary school children in all three cities will have indoor recess and gym. Furthermore, all school doors will be locked throughout the day, and an I.D. will be required to gain entry. Police officers, both undercover and uniformed, will reportedly be present in elementary schools for the remainder of the week.
According to Inquisitr, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian said that he planned to visit every elementary school in Warwick on Wednesday to make sure the “school staff and students are OK.”