Mainland Regional High School closed today due to gun threat; superintendent says all students are safe - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Northfield | Linwood | Somers Point

Mainland Regional High School closed today due to gun threat; superintendent says all students are safe - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Northfield | Linwood | Somers Point

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Mainland Regional High School closed today due to gun threat; superintendent says all students are safe

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 3:45 pm | Updated: 6:23 pm, Fri Jan 18, 2013.

Mainland Regional High School closed Friday due to a threat of violence, but Superintendent Thomas Baruffi said the school will reopen for activities today and that there is no danger to the students.

Baruffi said he learned of the threat from police at 6:40 a.m. and decided to close the school shortly after because there was not enough information about the credibility of the threat.

“I was not confident opening the school with the information I had,” he said. “I wanted to be cautious.”

Linwood police said a student from a school district in another county received a text message indicating that someone would get a gun and there would be violence. Mainland was one of several schools listed as a potential target.

Capt. Doug Carman said at 3:30 p.m. that the department is still investigating the threat, which may have been a text sent from an Internet website. Carman said the department is working with another law-enforcement agency, which he did not identify.

Baruffi said the school will be open today for a wrestling meet and other sports team practices, and classes will resume Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. The superintendent said he will ask police to establish a presence at the building as a precaution.

“I’m confident things are safe and we’re in good shape,” he said. “The police are all over it.”

The school received a threat last month on the Friday following the shooting in Newtown, Conn. Baruffi said at that time that the school did not shut down and the public was notified of a false-alarm threat.

Baruffi said the difference this time was that he did not have enough information about any potential incident before the school day was set to begin. He said the district called all home and cell numbers they had of parents and told school buses to terminate their routes. Only a handful of parents showed up at the school Friday morning, he said.

Lenape High School in Medford Township, Burlington County, had an increased police presence Thursday after a student there received a threatening text message. It is not clear whether the threats are related.

Contact Lee Procida:

609-463-6712

LProcida@pressofac.com

Follow @ACPressLee on Twitter

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

JLandau@pressofac.com

Follow @landaupressofac on Twitter

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