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Article's Link to Massacres Causes School Closures in Giles Co. - abc27 WHTM

Article's Link to Massacres Causes School Closures in Giles Co.

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Giles Co., VA - Giles County schools were taking no chances Wednesday as they extended winter break for students over a concerning online article.

The editor of the online digital magazine RevelationNow.net connected the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which happened at the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rising," with the massacre at Sandy Hook and a place called Narrows.

Fictional "strike zones" in the newest Batman movie include areas named Sandy Hook and another named Narrows, which led an online magazine to recently ask the question whether Narrows, Virginia will be the scene of "The Next School Massacre".

"We are very fortunate we do not have a threat. That is the main thing we want to strive out here. No threat has ever been made at any school here in Giles County," said Sheriff Morgan Millirons with the Giles County Sheriff's Department.

But with reminders of Newtown still fresh even in Giles County, the coincidence was enough to persuade authorities to tell students to stay home Wednesday.

"It's not a threat, but you don't want to take anything like this lightly. I know if I were a parent I would want to know about that as well," said Millirons.

According to Millirons, state police received the original tip regarding the article, which was then passed on to local officials in Giles who decided to delay the return of classes.

Teachers were still asked to come in as extra deputies were assigned to each campus. The faculty used the time to go over their nightmare scenarios.

"You know, we just wanted to make sure our procedures and everything with our ‘Code Blue' and all that in our schools was still up to par," said Chief Bentley Ratcliffe with the Narrows Police Department.

Ratcliffe says the move is supported by community members, many of whom have called concerned.

A concern shared by the Chief Ratclife, as he has three kids in the district as well.

"It hits home. You know... you just want to be prepared," he said.

RevelationNow.net's editor says the response to this whole thing has been overwhelming - to the point the site was knocked off the net until they could find a new host. That editor, Michael Erevna, says he has no regrets and says he is happy authorities were proactive in their approach.

School resumes in Giles Thursday as normal.

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