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Threat at Mercer County school prompts lockdowns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lockdowns at three Mercer County schools were lifted around 10 a.m.

Princeton Senior High School, Princeton Middle School and the Mercer County Technical Education Center were all placed on lockdown after a threat was made, said Joe Turner, assistant superintendent of Mercer County schools.

Turner believes the threat actually originated at Montcalm High School in the small town of Montcalm, northwest of Princeton, on Wednesday afternoon.

"There was a rumor circulating at Montcalm High School that someone was going to bring a weapon to school today," he said.

Officers and extra school administrators arrived at the school early Thursday morning to address the threat, Turner said.

However, the rumor had spread to the three other schools via Facebook, he said. Those schools were also placed on lockdown and searched.

No weapons were found and the lockdowns were lifted, he said.

The Princeton Police Department is investigating.

Turner was unsure of the exact nature of the threat, but he did say that it could have been a direct result of Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 people dead plus the shooter.

"And this particular threat may have had something to do with the Mayan Calendar thing too," Turner said.

Some people believe the Mayan Calendar predicts that the world will come to an end on Dec. 21.

The lockdown occurred after a bomb threat caused the evacuation of Princeton Senior High School on Monday. That incident is also being investigated by the Princeton Police Department, Turner said.

"We take all of these threats very seriously," he said.

There are about 1,000 students at Princeton Senior High School and 536 at Princeton Middle School, Turner said. There were also around 300 students at the vocational center when the lockdown was initiated.

There was no lockdown initiated at Montcalm High School, he said.

"We had officers there," Turner said.   


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