'MHS' threat prompts concern, precautions at multiple schools

Districts, law enforcement beef up security due to non-specific threat

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A threat made against a school with the initials MHS prompted three school districts in Northeast Florida take extra precautions Wednesday to make sure students are safe.

It’s unclear where the threat came from or whether it was against an area school, but Duval, Clay and Flagler counties weren't taking any chances.

A police car was parked in front of Mandarin High School as students arrived. Duval County Public Schools said there was extra security on campus and parents were sent a robocall alerting them that police were investigating.

Duval County Public Schools told News4Jax:

While this threat might reference any high school with those initials, we are taking additional precautions at our Mandarin High School. We are investigating the threat in collaboration with law enforcement partners.”

In Clay County, parents of Middleburg High School students also received a robocall from Principal Roger Dailey about the non-specific threat:

I am calling to notify you that there are extra law enforcement officers around our campus this morning out of an abundance of caution due to a tip made through the Clay County Sheriff's Office website. The tip stated a threat to "MHS" however, at this time, it's undetermined if "MHS" refers to a Clay County school due to the limited information obtained in the tip."

Flagler County schools said it was aware of the MHS threat circulating, but told News4Jax: "At this time, this does not appear to be a local threat against Matanzas High School. However, out of an abundance of caution, we do have heightened security at Matanzas."

Valerie Angelo, whose son is a sophomore at Mandarin High School, said she had concerns after hearing about the threat but ultimately felt safe having him at school.

"I thought today, you know, it’s a sad situation, you know, that we have to deal with us sending our kids to school, but I felt safe with my son being at school today," Angelo said.

But other parents, including a Mandarin parent who forwarded out the treat on her Facebook page, was not satisfied that police were doing enough. She not only kept their children home, she urged others to do the same, writing, "No threat is worth your child's life."

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