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Franklin Regional officials add telethon security following threat allegations

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:56 p.m.

Although officials say there's no merit to rumors of “Mayan apocalypse”-inspired school violence planned for Dec. 21, Franklin Regional officials plan to have increased security at the high school Friday.

Superintendent Emery D'Arcangelo said additional police will be on hand at the high school, which will host the annual holiday telethon. For the past week, administrators have investigated allegations that some students were targeting the senior high for school violence on Friday, the so-called Mayan apocalypse.

D'Arcangelo said administrators believe there is no security threat for Friday. Extra security measures will be in place.

All students will be greeted by Murrysville police, uniformed security guards and district administrators. Officials recommend students avoid bringing book bags or purses and only bring essential items to school. Any bag, purse or belonging brought to school could be searched, D'Arcangelo said.

“We want to err on the side of safety,” D'Arcangelo said. “It's an unfortunate reality in schools everywhere. We hope to get a level of normalcy back in our schools.”

D'Arcangelo said the extra precautions are being taken in light of last week's school shooting where 20 students and six adults were killed at an elementary school in Connecticut as well as the end of the Mayan long calendar, which many believe to signal the end of the world.

The holiday telethon will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the high school and is open to the public. The event will benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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