Threat prompts extra security at Manatee school

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 17:54:39-05
An online threat forced some schools to close and others to bring in extra security all around the country this week.
The message spread like wildfire on Facebook Wednesday and impacted some schools in Florida.
Extra police officers set up shop at Lincoln Middle School in Palmetto and kids were asked to leave backpacks at home after an online threat made its way to district administrators. The threat stated a gun would be brought to campus in a backpack and students would be shot.
"We're always going to err on the side of safety because that's our top priority, but we have to work with law enforcement to help determine the source and credibility of the threat," said Michael Barber, director of communications for Manatee County Schools.
Some nervous parents kept their kids home from school.
"It's scary because things do actually happen and it's something you don't want to have to be worried about for your kids," said Anna Gonzalez, who has nieces and nephews attending Lincoln in Palmetto.
It turns out, the exact same message was blasted out to people affiliated with Lincoln schools all over the country. Tracking down where and how it start is still being investigated. School officials say with a heightened sensitivity to mass shootings, even if a threat seems fake, they've go to respond to every one of them the same way.
"These days, in light of all that's happened around the country, you know, we can't take any threat lightly. So every threat has to be taken seriously," Barber said.
Lincoln is the most common name for schools in the U.S. 
Parents were notified about the potential threat to the Lincoln School in Manatee County by two separate automated phone calls, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.