TERRE HAUTE, Dec 18, 2012 (The Tribune-Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Law enforcement and the Vigo County School Corp. are investigating a threat discovered at Terre Haute South Vigo High School on Monday.
"We're investigating a threat that was discovered at the school," said city police Chief John Plasse. Several detectives are involved, and they are doing interviews and reviewing surveillance video.
The threat -- written on a bathroom wall -- allegedly referenced the shooting in Conneticut where 20 students and six educators were gunned down Friday.
City police are providing increased security at the Terre Haute high school today. "We've increased our presence there. It's probably the safest place to be in Terre Haute today," Plasse said.
Police are continuing to investigate and hope to find the person or persons responsible, Plasse said. "We obviously don't take this sort of thing lightly," he said.
Superintendent Dan Tanoos has not been available for interviews, but he did make the following comments by email early this afternoon:
"The tragedy in Connecticut has touched us all, and we, in education, are doing everything possible to ensure that our schools are safe.
"We have worked hand in hand with police, school safety specialists, and school officials to ramp up our security in an effort to provide a safe learning environment for our students.
"After such a traumatic event, it is not uncommon for schools to experience an increase in hoaxes and pranks. It is sad that some individuals go to that extent in an attempt to cause disruption and panic. You may have heard rumors of threats being made against some of our schools including South High School. I want to assure you that we have investigated all such rumors and threats and find no validity to any of them.
"We continue to work with law enforcement and will hold anyone responsible for making such false claims of violence against our schools. We pray for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, and we will do everything we can to make the Vigo County School Corp. the safest place for students, staff, and visitors," Tanoos wrote in the email.
One grandparent who contacted the Tribune-Star stated her granddaughter did not go to school today after learning there had been some kind of threat. Others parents expressed concerns about the situation, although their children did attend school at South, they told the Tribune-Star.
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