ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Friday marked one week since the deadly mass shooting inside a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, and yet tensions and anxiety remain high in halls across the nation and Minnesota.
Three St. Cloud schools imposed limits on hallway activity Friday morning morning due to social media rumors about the Mayan calendar and the Connecticut school shooting, Superintendent Bruce Watkins said.
Apollo and Technical high schools and North Junior High School started the day in containment. The containment was lifted at 10:30 a.m. for Apollo, and was expected to be lifted at Tech after lunch. Watkins had not heard if North had lifted it as well.
Containment limits hallway traffic to between period changes. Hall passes are denied. No school is in lock down, which puts students and staff behind locked doors with lights off.
Today is also the last day before the winter break and that raises anxieties too, Watkins said.
"We are aware of a lot of social media activity and that has created a lot of anxiety for kids," Watkins said.
Watkins said he has left it to each principal at the district's schools to decide if they want to go into containment. He said he has not received or heard any specific problems or threats. The schools will stay in close contact with their police liaison officers today.
St. Cloud is not alone. In Northfield, officials at Northfield Middle School shifted into secure mode after a staff member shared information he or she had learned about a parent. A post on the district's website didn't specify what the information related to, but said "Our staff is working directly with law enforcement agencies to reduce any further reason for concern."
School operations at Northfield Middle School are business as usual with the exception of a secure main entrance. The school posted a staff greeter positioned there to screen guests before they enter the school. The move was made to give "peace of mind" to both students and staff on the last day before Northfield's winter break.
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