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Gadsden High School to utilize remote learning Friday in wake of violent threats

UPDATE, Nov. 18: For the second time in a week, online threats targeting the Gadsden Independent School District led to Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies conducting school security sweeps on Thursday.

Both Gadsden High and Gadsden Middle schools, located on Washington Street in Anthony, were initially placed on lockdown and later downgraded to a shelter-in-place order.

Gadsden ISD officials said security guards were stationed at the main entrance to the high school and the middle school was equipped with secure doors that are entry accessible only from the school administrative offices.

Gadsden High School was planning to go to full remote learning for Friday, which is when sheriff's deputies said the threat was reportedly set to be carried out. Also, all Friday extra-curricular activities at the school were cancelled.

Authorities indicated that the violent threats received on Thursday were similar to ones made on Tuesday that also prompted a lockdown at the high school.

“We believe this to be the same perpetrator who made threats against the school two days ago,” Sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Hash said. “We believe these are an intention to disrupt the school, but not a credible threat.”

Hash indicated the Sheriff’s Office was working with the FBI to identify the source of the threats. He said the Gadsden threats were similar to threats also received Thursday by the El Paso Independent School District.

UPDATE, Nov. 16: Investigators with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office said late Tuesday afternoon they had determined violent threats made on social media targeting Gadsden High School in Anthony were similar to ones recently made against Centennial High School in Las Cruces.

Sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Hash said officials now believed the threats weren't credible; he indicated investigators deemed those to be a hoax after tracing their origins to a location outside of the U.S. - although the exact source remained undetermined.

Authorities said students and parents were safely released from the Gadsden High School school grounds late Tuesday afternoon and classes would resume as normal on Wednesday.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Nov. 16: ANTHONY, New Mexico -- Gadsden High School was placed on lockdown for a time Tuesday afternoon after threats of violence targeting the school appeared on social media sites, according to Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff's deputies said they took the threats seriously and were investigating to determine the source of them. There were multiple law enforcement officers on the campus during the school day.

“We are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of everyone at the school,” Sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Hash said of the threats.

As of 4:15 p.m., a Gadsden Independent School District spokesman said students were being allowed to go home for the day; he declined to comment on the threats.

The high school is located at 6301 NM-28 in Anthony.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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