SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Thousands of students will have an extra long holiday break after school administrators in at least three Michigan counties decided to cancel classes because of talk surrounding the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world.
Five districts in Lapeer County and 20 districts in Genesee County posted announcements Wednesday evening cancelling classes Thursday and Friday.
Thursday afternoon, Monroe Public Schools announced they were cancelling school for Friday.
“Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students. Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced,” a letter from Matt Wandrie, Superintendent of Lapeer Community Schools said.
“These rumors of violence have been thoroughly investigated and determined to be false. There have been no credible threats made against any of our students. However, these rumors have been a serious distraction for students, teachers, administrators, and parents. Therefore, given the significant disruption to the teaching and learning process, I have decided, along with my fellow superintendents of Lapeer County, to cancel school for both Thursday, December 20th, and Friday, December 21st,” the letter said.
All after school extracurricular events, programs and athletic contests and practices are also cancelled.
Wandrie’s letter concluded by saying although administrators are reluctant to cancel school because the rumors are unsubstantiated, they felt it was “the most appropriate decision given the gravity of recent events and our present circumstances.”
Thursday afternoon, Monroe Public Schools announced they were cancelling school for Friday due to “unsubstantiated” rumors. School officials said, in a statement, that the anxiety and disruptions to the learning led to concerns of significantly decreased school attendance, which led to the decision to close early for the holiday break.
In other districts, such as Fraser and Livonia, extra police officers will be patrolling near schools.