Threat concerns in Camden Co. school district
WEST BERLIN TWP., N.J. - March 22, 2012 (WPVI) -- School officials say roughly 30 children were pulled out of school Thursday by their parents, who'd heard about some kind of threat against John F. Kennedy Elementary School in West Berlin.
"I'm hoping that it turns out to be absolutely nothing but to be safe," parent Brenda Bell told Action News. "My daughters are coming home."
During a bail hearing in North Jersey Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that blueprints to JFK Elementary were found in the house of accused synagogue firebomber Aakash Dalal, marked up for an attack with the words "Project Anarchy" written on them.
"They found blueprints for this particular school and my son's in this school and I'm very nervous," said parent Jill Vasquez.
Prosecutors say Dilal took the blueprints from a dumpster near his house after they were thrown out by a contractor. The local police chief says he's been assured by higher-ups and investigators on the case that there's no cause for alarm.
"Students and staff of the schools of Berlin Twp. are safe and fine," said Berlin Twp. Police Chief Joe Jackson. "There was no viable, credible threat toward our schools at all."
With few details available Thursday morning and lots of questions, hundreds of calls came in to the school district, local police and the mayor.
"They can rest assured with our police department that their safety is first," said Mayor Phyllis Maguzzu. "Always has been, always will be."
School Superintendent Brian Betze said with police assuring him there is no threat, his goal Thursday was to keep classes going and reassure parents their children are safe.
"Just try to keep it as calm as possible and move forward with a normal day," said Betze.
A counselor was on hand and a police officer stationed at the school to calm any fears.
But because there's no real threat, officials are hoping all students will return to class on Friday.
new jersey, safety, school, camden county, local/state, nora muchanic
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