Johnston Police Investigate Anonymous Threats Sent on Monday Night

JOHNSTON, Iowa  --  Classes at Johnston schools are scheduled to be back in session Wednesday after all locations were closed on Tuesday following anonymous threatening text messages received by some students' parents late Monday night.

The district canceled classes as school officials and police were flooded with reports of messages targeting specific children. Police and the school say the decision to close for the day was not easy to make.

“This is a tough decision, it's not something we take lightly, but at the end of the day our first priority is to keep students and staff safe," said Superintendent Corey Lunn.

Police says it’s likely the messages will continue.

“It is very likely that these messages will continue and it's very likely that they will come from a new number or a different series of numbers," Johnston Police Chief Dennis McDaniel said.

The culprit behind the messages is still unknown.

“We are working with the FBI right now, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, to take a more global view of this," McDaniel said.

The threats come days after four Johnston High School boys were arrested and charged with assault.

Johnston police have been working around the clock to ensure public safety.

“We are law enforcement professionals, and we take that in the truest form. We work hard for our citizens and our community. Is there a fatigue factor going on right now? Absolutely. And we're all human, we all have lives and families and children, but there is a greater need right now so we step forward and we do what we're called upon to do," McDaniel said.

Police say anyone who receives a threat from an unknown number should not engage the sender and do not delete the message. Instead, contact police immediately.

Officials also encourage people to take extra measures to ensure the safety of their identity and personal information online.