Police investigating threats against schools
CRANSTON, R.I. —
At home, Joanne Lussier knows her children are safe. After what happened Tuesday, she's not sure she wants to let them go back to school right away.
Lussier's daughter and son are elementary school students in Warwick, one of three districts targeted by an anonymous letter sent to Johnston Police.
Johnston Police said they received a letter in the mail that made physical threats to elementary school students in Johnston, Cranston and Warwick.
"Are my kids safe in school tomorrow? I think I'm going to keep them home until we get more answers," Lussier said.
Cranston Police said Tuesday they were working with the other police departments to investigate where the letter came from and taking action to keep students safe.
"My stance on this is we can't be too stagnant on this stuff," Cranston Police Colonel Michael Winquist said. "We need to be up front on it and take all the precautionary measures. I'd rather be proactive."
For Nicole Zambarano, whose daughter Ella goes to school in Cranston, finding out about the letter made her worried. She said she received a phone recording from the superintendent about the threats.
"With Sandy Hook and everything being so close to home in New England, it's just definitely in the back of your mind," Zambarano said. "You try not to worry about these kind of things but then when you get a message like that, you know, it's like, how do I go to work the next day and not have that in the back of my mind?"
Zambarano said she hasn't told Ella, 6, about the threats and doesn't think she will
"I'm sure everyone worries about their child going to school on a daily basis in this day and age and it just kind of really hits you right in the face," Zambarano said.
Lussier said she wasn't sure what would keep students safe in school.
"You don't want to put metal detectors and all that, you don't want to completely institutionalize the school, but at the same time, you know, to keep your kids safe, what lengths would you go to?" Lussier said.
Cranston Police said they will have an officer stationed at each school in the district, both public and private, Wednesday through Friday.
Warwick Police said they will also have an officer in every school.
Johnston Police indicated that they would have an officer in every elementary school for the next three days.
All three agencies say they are continuing to investigate with the help of Rhode Island State Police and the postal service.