Crete School Board answers questions on Friday's school closing

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CRETE, Neb. - Update: The Crete School Board sent out a press release detailing Friday's school closing on Saturday.

According to the press release, the FBI and Saline Counties Sheriff's office managed to find the individual who had sent the potential threat on Thursday evening. Troopers interviewed the individual and determined that they were not a danger to themselves or others.

Crete Public School officials inquired about restraint or surveillance of the individual during school hours. When Crete Public School officials were informed that restraint/surveillance was not going to occur, administration decided to err on the side of caution and cancel school.

The School Board was influenced to make the decision after a similar threat from a different individual was made against the Millard Public School District a few days ago.

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On what was supposed to be the last day of school, classes were canceled for Crete Public Schools.

The Saline County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday they were informed by a concerned citizen who had received an electronic transmission. That transmission could be interpreted as a potential threat to local school districts.

While many districts remained open today, Crete Superintendent Dr. Bret Schroder says his decision to cancel classes was, "absolutely the right decision."

An investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol.

They said out of an abundance of caution, the results of the investigation were shared with area school administration. Based upon this information, each school used this information to formulate their best action plan for their district.

Late Thursday night, a message was published on the Crete Public School's Facebook page announcing school was off on Friday.

The message read "Due to unforeseen circumstances, all Crete Public Schools will be closed on Friday, May 17th for the summer. No staff report."

Don and Terri Wanek have five kids in the Crete school district. When they got the email, they were suspicious.

"We thought it was a senior prank or something where it wasn't really true," the Wanek's said.

Several parents said the district kept them in the dark about the threat.

"Nobody was saying anything," Wanek said. "We just heard all the rumors that were swirling around."

Those rumors ranged from a bomb threat to a dead body found at the school. A post saying as much circulated social media.

"There was no dead body found," Schroder said. "Our site was not hacked. I'm not sure where that information came from but that was not part of the investigation at all."

Parents say the school made the right decision to close, but now they want to know what happens next.

"Yeah I'm glad they took the precautions they did and didn't put tests ahead of that, but as parents, we want to know why," Wanek said. "Our daughter who is in 11th grade had four finals she was supposed to take. And so does our 9th grader. Just give more information guys. We're parents. You're parents too. You know."

Schroder says the district is working to find a way to have students make up finals.

"We don't want this to be a punishment for kids that needed those grades," Schroder said.

The district did not say if graduation, which is scheduled for this Sunday, will be rescheduled.