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Heightened Security Continues at St. John's Prep

Further measures were taken on Friday in light of specific reference to that day in one of the threats left in a school bathroom.

St. John's Prep is located at 72 Spring St. in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy
St. John's Prep is located at 72 Spring St. in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy
Danvers police officers will remain stationed at St. John's Prep through Friday at least.

Police Chief Neil Ouellette said Thursday he couldn't reveal too many details of the situation, given the possible safety threat and ongoing investigation, but did expect to have officers there through the end of this week.

Security measures were stepped up at the private Catholic boys school in town on Tuesday in response to two different threatening messages that were left in a school bathroom.

The nature of the threats has not been disclosed by either school administrators or the police, other than to say no specific individuals were targeted.

The first message was left Dec. 19 and the second message on Jan. 6, which reportedly referenced the earlier threat and made specific mention to this Friday (Jan. 10).

In addition to the police presence, students were prohibited from wearing their backpacks to school and were instead only allowed to carry in clear, plastic bags.

Bathrooms were also closely monitored and any free time between classes was closely supervised.

"In this day and age, everything is really serious," said Ouellette Thursday, asked about the potential of the threats.

The security measures were communicated to parents and students via letters and emails this week, starting on Monday.

The Salem News reports additional measures were taken on Friday in light of the specific reference in Monday's threat, including only allowing a single point of entry for students to access various buildings, relocating homerooms from public areas to the school theater, closing a student common area and rearranging concerts.

The Salem News reports school administrators say that's not because the situation has changed though, and they will be updating staff and students throughout the day.

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