SWANSBORO, NC - "I make a point to tell my kids every day before they leave that I love them and have a good day. Just the thought og them not coming home because of something tragic happening at thei school, it just causes a sick feeling in my stomach."
Maria Lara says education is one of the top priorities in her household.
But right now, it's safety.
She kept her eighth-grade son home from Swansboro Middle School today when she heard about a threat made over Facebook toward the school.
Onslow County Schools Public Information Officer Suzie Ulbrich says more than one student saw the threatening post on Facebook and reported it to the school's security resource officer last night.
Now, the Onslow County Sheriff's Department is investigating the case. As of now, Ulbrich says she hasn't heard about any leads on the case. She also wasn't sure what was said in the post or who did it.
The school's principal notified parents through a voice message sent by email and text around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Classes continued as scheduled, but there was an increased law enforcement presence on campus. Deputies also did a security sweep of the school before it opened.
Ulbrich says the school system takes threats like this shouldn't be taken lightly.
"We have to take everything very seriously," Ulbrich said. "It's nothing to be considered a joke anymore, and that's the way we have to react to it."
Ulbrich hopes this will be solved soon so that the children can continue learning in a safe environment.
Lara's son hopes so too.
"Even if it was a joke, school shootings aren't a joke, especially because of what happened at Sandy Hook," said Cory Mesel, Lara's son. "That's really nerve-wracking. That just doesn't concern kids at a school. It disrupts a whole community, and it becomes a bigger problem."