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Rumors of School Violence in Md. Mounting on Social Media

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Police stand guard at the entrance to the Sandy Hook School on Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Police in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties are beating back the mounting swell of Twitter and Facebook rumors that potential school violence attacks will strike the school systems later in the week.

The social media sites have been enlisted by students to claim possible acts of violence are coming to as many as 20 schools in Anne Arundel County, alone Friday, according to Associated Press.

In both counties, school officials have acknowledged the rumors and ruled that none pose credible threats but say they are doing their due diligence in pursuing the validity of each individual rumor.

Schools in Anne Arundel and Howard plan to operate on normal schedules Friday with heightened police presence. Alerts have been sent to parents, noting that some police presence will be noticed, while other aspects will go under the radar.

The following alert was sent out to parents in Howard County:

The HCPSS has been notified about viral social media rumors referencing violence in schools on Friday of this week. These rumors are circulating in school districts throughout the state.

Our school system administrators and security team are working with the Howard County police, and at this time none of the rumors have been credible. Please be assured that all rumors and threats will continue to be taken seriously and fully investigated.

The police will continue to provide an enhanced presence around our school campuses.

We encourage children to be responsible citizens, and this includes conduct on social media. We ask parents and guardians to continue to emphasize the importance of not spreading rumors and notifying adults of any inappropriate social media they receive.

If you receive any information that needs to be communicated to the police, please contact the Howard County police immediately at 410-313-2911.

Parents have been asked not to aide in the spreading of any illegitimate rumors and to notify the appropriate authorities of any threatening social media they may receive in relation to schools.

Similar threats are being spread in schools throughout the state with the one week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that claimed the lives of 26 adults in children on the horizon Friday.

If you receive any information that needs to be communicated to the police, please contact the police immediately at (410) 313-2911.

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