Students and parents concerned over threat at Carl Hayden HS - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

1500 students absent from Carl Hayden HS after shooting threat

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

UPDATE: Carl Hayden High School officials say 1500 students were absent Friday. That's three times more than usual.

Is it a hoax, or will the threat of a school shooting be carried out at Carl Hayden High School Friday? A question on the minds of many students and parents Thursday evening.

Some parents plan to have their kids stay home, the district has told students who plan to come to school to leave backpacks, valentine's day stuffed animals, and gifts at home. Students may have to go through a security checkpoint before stepping foot on the campus. The district however is not canceling classes.

A lot of parents and kids we spoke with say they're planning to skip school tomorrow in case the threat is actually carried out.

"I'm concerned the safety of my son, that's what I'm mostly concerned about," said one parent.

Many parents are taking the threat seriously. School officials started investigating the threatening note on Tuesday. Students say a note was left in a school bathroom, it said that a shooting was going to happen on the campus on valentine's day

FOX 10 asked Arturo Forte if he was going to send his daughter to school, "I don't know, maybe not," said Forte.

Officials say there's going to be a stepped up police presence at the school and there will also be a limited number of entrances students can use to get on campus. They haven't decided as of yet whether to put in metal detectors or have security officers use wands on the students.

The Carl Hayden HS Principal sent a letter home to parents on Thursday letting them know about the threat. The letter said, "despite the rumors, or what your student may have reported, classes will be held as scheduled. We will have increased security measures in place."

Those measures include banning backpacks and valentine's day stuffed animals or gifts on campus Friday.

"It didn't make sense to me, no gifts either for valentines c'mon it doesn't make sense" said Leonel Alvarez, a student.

FOX 10 asked Antonio Bracamontes how he felt about the threat, "Not really... they're probably messing around... just to scare us," said Bracamontes.

But many parents say - they're not taking any chances, and neither should the school. "I think they should just cancel tomorrow and make them go an extra day later so no one will get hurt," said Rocha.

The district spokesperson says it's not uncommon for schools to get threats like this one, they take all threats seriously but most of them are hoaxes.

But school officials can't say for sure if this threat is a hoax, or if it's real.  They say they're worried that all this hype about it is legitimizing an otherwise bogus threat.

But parents we spoke with say in light of the shooting that happened at Cesar Chavez High School a couple weeks ago and all the other school shootings that have been taking place at across the nation recently they'd rather keep their kids home tomorrow just to be safe.

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