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Threat leads to low attendance at schools

Pendleton County schools had increased police presence

The threat made against an unspecified school via the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security in Kentucky on August 28 and Arkansas on August 29 was met with an increased vigilance and law enforcement presence at Pendleton County but according to Superintendent Joe Buerkley it was successful in at least one way.

"The threat was not substantiated or credible and these types of threats are designed to disrupt the school day. With over 300 students absent in Pendleton County, it was successful in doing that. It is good weather with no sickness and no other reason for low attendance," said Buerkley who indicated the district attendance was at 85.6 percent. That figured was similar to the attendance numbers being reported throughout Northern Kentucky.

When the district was alerted to the threat by Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, Buerkley released a letter informing parents as well as working with the local law enforcement agencies.

Both Pendleton County Sheriff Office and Falmouth Police Department increased their presence at the schools throughout the day.

"The Pendleton County Sheriff's office takes any and all threats against our schools seriously. These threats will be investigated and we will take the necessary actions to protect our students and staff," said Sheriff Eddie Quinn.

It was a point that was echoed by Falmouth Chief of Police Shannon Clem. "After learning about the news regarding the threats yesterday, Sheriff Quinn and I correlated a plan of proactive policing action to keep our students staff safe. We take any and all threats extremely serious and safety will always be our number one priority. I am very proud of the Falmouth Police Department and the Pendleton County Sheriff's Office for working together."

"It was a good community effort in helping make our schools safe," said Superintendent Buerkley who noted that the Falmouth VIP's program was also involved.

The school district's administration staff was visible at the start of the day at each building and will be in and out throughout the day. He expects attendance to be back to normal for the rest of the week.

The district did take lemons and make it into lemonade on this day.

"The staff has been great. We took the opportunity to hone our skills and like every day be very vigilant on checking both interior and exterior doors. We continued to operate as a normal school day but will continue to monitor things," Buerkley expressed about the reaction of the Pendleton County schools' staff.