JCPS officials: students will be safe at school today despite un - WDRB 41 Louisville News

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JCPS officials: students will be safe at school today despite unspecified threat

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Schools across Louisville are on heightened alert today after an anonymous threat was received Thursday afternoon.

It has never happened before: all 155 JCPS schools are operating under Level 3 security today, which is one level higher than normal operations.

Area Catholic schools and local colleges and universities are also on heightened alert. 

We spoke with JCPS spokeswoman Bonnie Hackbarth early Friday morning. 

"Everything's going smoothly so far today," Hackbarth said. "We are certainly down on attendance -- I will have numbers a little bit later today. We are operating at a heightened alert -- that's level three -- out of five levels of security. And that's just so everyone is extra watchful about anything that might be out of the ordinary."

Hackbarth says Level 3 security means exterior doors to all schools will be locked at all times, outside activities will be canceled and hallway traffic will be minimized and monitored.

"I want to give parents the assurance that it is safe for their children to go to school today," Hackbarth said. "I will be in school today." 

[HEIGHTENED SECURITY AT JCPS SCHOOLS: WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW]

LMPD officials say they received the "vague, anonymous threat" against unspecified educational institutions on Thursday. 

Police say there is no further credible information to support the threat and that it was unclear if it was against schools only located in Louisville so police notified all area schools and colleges.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Dr. Michael Raisor, JCPS Director of Operations, said the threat had been received through the Louisville Metro Police tip line. He declined to elaborate further on the nature of the threat, but said that schools would be on Heightened Security Alert, meaning that security would be increased at the doors, and movement would be reduced -- both in school hallways and just outside the schools.

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Raisor says this appears to be another in a series of threats being reported to schools and colleges across the country recently. 

"We're showing extreme precaution, we take things like this extremely seriously because we have to," Raisor said. At the same time, your child should be at school tomorrow. My child will be at school tomorrow."

Raisor did say the decision of whether to send a child to school rests solidly with the child's parents.JCPS officials say excused absences will be given at the discretion of school principals.

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