Classes at Carl Hayden continue despite threat; no backpacks allowed

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Classes will go on as scheduled at Carl Hayden Community High School Friday despite a threat of violence. It's not entirely business as usual though. Students are not permitted to bring backpacks or large bags to school.

This stems from a threatening note found in a bathroom earlier this week.

According to student Jesus Castellonos, the threat involved guns being brought to school.

A spokesman for the school district said the student believed to possibly be behind the threat is not at school today. That student has not been publicly identified and school officials are not releasing any information about him or her. The motive behind the note has not been determined.

The threat prompted the school to implement some stricter security measures, which is why kids have been told to leave their backpacks at home.

"Our number one priority at Carl Hayden is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff, and we will always act in the interest of caution," Principal Ricardo Cordova said in a letter sent to parents Thursday.

With the help of the Phoenix Police Department, the district launched an investigation as soon as the note was discovered.

"While threats are most often hoaxes, they are none-the-less disruptive to the education of our children and their feelings of security on campus," Cordova's letter said. "We take any threat very seriously."

Despite the district's assurances of safety, many parents opted to keep their kids home.

Established in 1957, Carl Hayden is part of the Phoenix Union High School District. Nearly 1,900 students are enrolled there.

A district spokesman told 3TV's Jill Galus that he expected about half that number, possibly fewer than 1,000 students, on campus Friday.