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Attendance Down on Friday at County Public Schools

A spokesman said there were no unusual incidents at schools on Friday to report.

After a week filled with grieving over the Newtown tragedy, rumors about , worries about the "end of the world" and power outages, nearly one-third of students in Anne Arundel County didn't attend school on Friday.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) spokesman Bob Mosier said that across the school system, 27.7 percent of students were absent—primarily in middle and high schools. He also added that there were no unusual incidents at schools on Friday to report.

While some absences can be attributed to students taking the day off to travel before winter break, Mosier acknowledged there were other factors this week that accounted for the number of absences more than tripling from 6.8 percent last year on the final day prior to winter break. Attendance was highest at elementary schools, where no threats were made regarding shooting plots and many classes had holiday activities planned for the day.

Students Absent Day Before Break 2012 2011 High schools 38.5% 9.14% Middle schools 29.6% 6.6% Elementary schools 6.7% 5.5%

On Wednesday, officials held a press conference to respond to shooting plot rumors at several schools—including Old Mill High School in Millersville, North County High School in Glen Burnie, Arundel High School in Gambrills, and Northeast High School and George Fox Middle School in Pasadena. At these schools, rumors reportedly circulated that there are shootings planned for Friday but administrators sent letters to parents that there is no indication that a real threat exists.

Earlier in the week, a Broadneck High student was suspended for making a gun threat and a Southern Middle student set off a firecracker.

See more:

  • Police Call School Shooting Threats Unfounded
  • Nearly 500 Guns Surrendered in Baltimore After Newtown Shooting
  • Anne Arundel Police Heighten School Security After Connecticut Shooting
  • County Forum Will Discuss Mental Health
Ger December 21, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Wow, lots of ignorant parents keeping their children home whether overreacting because of a rumor or because they thought it was the end of the world. Very sad for 28% of the youth of this county...
Harry Balzonia December 21, 2012 at 09:57 PM
If people actually kept their kids home because we've become scared stupid about the boogie man coming to get us, then I've lost hope for the human race. Get a grip people. Bad things happen, but you've got a better chance of being struck by lightning than being involved in a school shooting (which I agree is very tragic) or the end of the world occurring anytime soon. I'll take those odds and send my kids to school. Come out of your shelter and live your lives!
Bob Clipp December 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I don't know what I would do but the police spokesman that said there were no credible threats to the public schools and then corrected himself saying that there have been six threats and that "most... I mean all of them have been tracked down" should be fired. Way to instill confidence.
GG Chet December 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Fear is a real thing. I think parents are best able to determine what is real & what is not re: their children. This has been a very traumatic week. My granddaughter & I talked extensively...She stayed home from Arundel & I'm glad. Love your children & stop judging....
Harry Balzonia December 22, 2012 at 04:24 PM
A great deal of fear is manufactured by a media that hypes up tragedies like these for the sake of ratings. The more scared you are, the better job they are doing. If you live in Newtown, CT, then it has been a traumatic week. Not so much in Anne Arundel county. In fact, it's been downright uneventful. Taking extensively to children about these things, armed shooter drills in school this week, etc... these are the things that are going to instill fear into our kids that they could become victims at any moment. Turn off the news and let your kids enjoy their childhood without creating anxiety for them that will make them neurotic adults. Not judging... I just don't think people consider what message their kids are actually receiving when we think we're just "talking".
Ger December 22, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Not sure how traumatic it was before everyone started letting fear rule them. And by letting children stay home you are just reinforcing the behavior. Now they are learning to remove themselves from any situation they are afraid of...

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