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Anne Arundel School Officials Dispel Friday Shooting Rumors

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North County High School
Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Since the Newtown attack, schools across the country have been on high alert, including schools in our area. The Anne Arundel County school superintendent and police are speaking out to help dispel rumors of possible shootings there.

Rochelle Ritchie has the details.

It’s unfortunate that just after a horrific tragedy, we are now hearing rumors of more school shootings–not only in Anne Arundel County but across the country. Police are trying to set the record straight.

Come Friday, Anne Arundel County Police will be more visible in response to rumors of a school shooting just before the holiday break.

“We’ve had threats that have had implications to six, seven, eight high schools and we’ve been able to track most of them down…we’ve tracked all of them down,” said Lt. J.D. Batten.

Police and school officials call the threats baseless. After a thorough investigation, they found no evidence of plans to threaten any students’ lives or shoot up any schools.

“We have been communicating with our principals, reminding them about security procedures, making sure their emergency plans are all in place,” said School Superintendent Kevin Maxwell.

Still, parents and students aren’t taking any chances.

“I don’t think [they'll go to school Friday],” said Gail Tyler.

The hearsay of a school shooting comes less than a week after the shooting in Newtown. Rumors of violence on Friday have spread to more than a dozen schools in Anne Arundel County.

“I heard that either a group of kids or a single kid is going to come into the school and shoot up the school,” said Sierra Smith.

In Anne Arundel County, the schools have a very similar system to what was used in Newtown. Police say there’s no need to change their system.

With end of the world expectations and whispers of a school shooting, police say students, teachers and parents need to remain vigilant.

Students at North County High School say there is a lockdown drill planned for Thursday.

Despite the rumors, school hours will remain the same.

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