Threats of Violence Lead Atherton School Officials to Close Schools for Week
It hasn't been the best week for officials of the Atherton School District. On the heels of news that a long-term teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage student, the district is dealing with threats of violence that have led to schools being closed for the remainder of the week.
In a letter, district officials notified parents that schools would remain closed the rest of the week after several students received messages threatening school violence. The letter indicated that several students received the messages via "airdrop" on Tuesday morning October 25 prompting school staff to immediately contact law enforcement.
Because airdrop messages are sent via iphones within a small radius of space, it was determined those threatening messages were coming from students within the school and an investigation is underway.
Due to the nature of the threats and the prior instance involving the teacher, the decision was made to close the schools for the remainder of the week.
"The stress resulting from these threats along with the recent arraignment of one of our teachers has reached levels that have us extremely concerned", Superintendent John Ploof wrote in the letter. "To adequately plan and prepare for our upcoming challenges requires time and the assistance of many individuals including our administration, Board of Education, and Police Department. To that end, we have made the decision to close school for the remainder of the week, October 26-28, 2022", Ploof said.
Ploof went on to note that the decision did not come easy and that the days will be added to the end of the year to meet state requirements.
The letter to parents also indicated that a $500 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the threats. You can read the full letter below.