With squad cars and increased security measures in place, students and faculty arrived at a South Florida school Friday after a threatening note found at the school earlier this week claimed they would "walk into this school and shoot everyone I see" on April 17th.
A special ceremony Friday, attended by Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvhalo, was set to celebrate MAST Academy's new building, a $20 million joint investment between the village of Key Biscayne and Miami-Dade Schools. Instead, that ceremony was somewhat overshadowed by the commotion and concern caused over the threatening note.
On Monday, school officials say the cryptic note was found unattended in a classroom. It read, "On April 17, 2015, I will walk into this school and shoot everyone I see."
"Shame on you for disrupting the environment of a school like MAST," Carvhalo had to say to whoever is behind the note.
School officials sent out a robocall Wednesday evening from the Chief of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police saying in part, "We want to assure you that MAST Academy continues to be a safe school for our students and staff."
Police also stated in the message they had mobilized their canine dogs to conduct searches throughout the school, along with several ramped up security efforts.
Students arriving at school Friday seemed determined that the threat wouldn't stop them from learning. One student telling NBC 6 South Florida, "I just really like learning, so I like going to class. I'm not afraid."
"We can't let them make us not go to school," said MAST student Felipe Arce. "That's their purpose. I know that nothing's going to happen, and I know that this school is safe and I know that I'm in a safe environment. I just can't let them win," Arce went on to say.
Carvhalo also Tweeted expressions of pride in the undeterred students of MAST Academy.
— Alberto M. Carvalho (@MiamiSup) April 17, 2015
Initially some parents of students at the Key Biscayne school were upset they found out about the threat through social media and news outlets. The parents later said they felt more reassured after receiving the automated message detailing security measures.
In addition to Friday's ceremony, several important tests were previously scheduled so faculty and staff expected the majority of students to still be in class.
School officials have not yet identified the person behind the note. The school board is continuing to investigate.