Manila Deals with School Threat

JANUARY 25, 2006 - Posted at 10:38 a.m. CST,  updated at 1:15 p.m. CST

MANILA, AR - Officials with the Manila School District and authorities with the Manila Police Department are taking seriously a threat that was found Tuesday afternoon written on a stall door at the high school campus.

" shooting" was written on a door inside a boy's bathroom.  As soon as the message was discovered, school officials notified the Manila Police Department, which immediately began investigating the incident.  Police were on the high school campus well into the evening hours last night.

Superintendent Pam Castor told K8 News this morning that tapes from video surveillance cameras throughout the school's campuses are being reviewed for any information about who may have written the words.

Meanwhile, the school has taken some extra safety measures today as a result of the incident.  Students were immediately placed in a secure environment as soon as they arrived on campus this morning, and each student was tested with a metal detector.  Initially, only a handful of parents opted to keep their children out of class today as a result of the threat, but as the day progressed and word of the incident spread, more parents withdrew their children from class.  At last report, more than half of Manila's 1,028 students were absent. Otherwise, Castor said the day is proceeding as a normal school day on all Manila campuses.

Castor said 597 students are absent today.

(Reporter Yalanda Young contributed to this report.)