After a week of threats, extra police patrols, Facebook chatter about the end of the world and last week's tragic school shooting in Connecticut, the Minot Public School District has called off classes Friday.
Supt. Mark Vollmer said a threat was called in Thursday morning to the Minot Air Force Base Head Start that a man planned to go there with a gun. The Head Start at MAFB, North Plains and Dakota Elementaries and Memorial Middle School at Minot Air Force Base were all placed on lockdown, meaning doors were locked and entry into the building was restricted. The Minot Head Start building was also briefly placed on lockdown.
Vollmer said the threat made at the base is under investigation by military police. Though the threat appears to be baseless, Vollmer said school officials decided to err on the side of caution and cancel all classes and activities that had been scheduled for Friday. The missed day will be made up on March 28. Some of the rumors were fueled by the so-called Mayan prophecy predicting that the end of the world would be Friday, as well as the school shooting at Newtown, Conn.
Parent Angelina Crow said she had already been considering whether to send her children to school Friday and she is glad that Vollmer has called off classes.
"Anything to protect the children," said Crow, who has three children in Minot Public Schools, daughters ages 11 and 8 and a 6-year-old son. She said calling off school is justified "with everything happening, especially with the poor children that lost their lives in Connecticut." Even though law enforcement had a greater presence in the schools, Crow said she thinks many children would still have been terrified to go to school. Crow said she strongly empathizes with the parents who lost their children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Crow also said she wishes that people making threats would keep their mouths shut.