Parents in Johnston Split on Sending Kids Back to School After Threats

JOHNSTON, Iowa  --  The last 24 hours have been stressful for many parents whose children attend a Johnston school. 

“Honestly, I couldn’t sleep last night after my husband and I got that phone call,” said Candace Swanson a mother of two Johnston students. 

This was a common reaction for parents throughout the district after many received anonymous threatening text messages. Late Monday night, the district made the decision to close all Johnston schools on Tuesday, and most parents agreed with this decision even though it's a difficult subject to explain to young children. 

“They actually saw it on the news a little bit and kind of asked a little more details. We talked a little bit about cyber bullying and that they need to take it seriously,” said Anita Hadley a parent of two students in Johnston. 

Hadley attended the live press conference with police to get more information, while other parents watched online. The common theme was they all needed to know more about the situation before they sent their kids back to school on Wednesday.

Jeremy Williams, a father of two, said the press conference provided him with enough comfort to send his boys back.

“I think the fact that there was no credible threat and the fact they were saying the next round of threats may come from another number sounds to me like it’s a hacker,” said Williams.

Swanson still wants more from police and the school district before her girls go back to class. 

 “Even if it’s a very slim chance, that chance isn’t worth it. So until they can say yes we’ve found the cause of this or we know there is no threat I don’t think I can send them back,” said Swanson.

Some parents said FBI agents have already been in contact with them.