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Online scare keeps many out of school in Westwood

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Online scare keeps many out of school in Westwood

December 27, 2014    Last updated: Saturday, December 27, 2014, 1:21 AM
The Record

A security scare at Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. High School prompted many families to keep their kids home on Tuesday, despite assurances from school officials that there was no actual threat, officials said.

More than 200 students were absent, or about 20 percent of all students, which was an unusually high number even for the day before Christmas vacation, said district Superintendent Raymond Gonzalez on Friday. Some stayed home because of rumors about a threat that was linked to an online book written by a student, officials said.

Gonzalez declined to say what the student wrote or what prompted the scare, but the school did investigate and found “no credible information to support the claims,” he said.

“No specific threats were directed at any of our schools or personnel,” Gonzalez said. “However, local, national and world events have heightened our collective sensitivity to matters of safety in our school.

“As such, the school district takes all matters seriously and works cooperatively with law enforcement to investigate public concerns when they arise to ensure that our schools are safe places for all students.”

Officials declined to identify the student and said that there was no need to discipline the teen.

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