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Police Increase School Patrols in Response to Graffiti

Threatening graffiti found at Newark Memorial High School in early April indicated a mass killing on May 14.

Despite that coated buildings indicating a mass killing on May 14, school will be in session on Monday.

The threat first surfaced in April when staff found the phrases “I'M GONNA KILL EVERYONE HERE 5-14-12," followed by "OFWGKTA" painted bright yellow on the outside of a school building.

Still, no arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

“All viable leads have been followed up, but unfortunately they did not lead to a suspect, said Cmdr. Michael Carroll on Thursday.

Parents have also raised concerns about rumors of a violent act planned for May 14 at that began circling.

However, Newark Junior High School Principal Mark E. Neal said those rumors began after junior high students learned about the graffiti at the high school.

Neal said after conversations with Newark Memorial High’s administrators they have come to believe the graffiti might have been a promotional stunt.

The acronym “OFWGKTA” stands for Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, a Los Angles-based rap group headed by rapper Tyler, the Creator.

Tyler, the Creator - whose songs often include violent lyrics - is said to be releasing his new album Wolf on Monday and Neal noted that school administrators learned that similar graffiti was found at other school campuses throughout the region.

Superintendent of Schools Dave Marken also emphasized that while the graffiti was threatening, school officials analyzed the "level of credibility" of the incident.

"The fact that it was on April 1 [April Fool's Day], the fact that it's a name of a band and. ...we're not going to go overboard," Marken said.

The graffiti that appeared in April throughout the high school campus, though, did not just contain seemingly threatening phrases.

Symbols and words ranged from “rude to crude to a funny face,” said Marken, who added school staff found happy faces, religious crosses and an image of male genitals painted on the campus’ buildings and trees.

"We're going to have our eyes alert," he added. "We have to take it seriously, but we cannot shut down school."

Additionally, Carroll said extra patrol officers will be in put in place around the schools on Monday.

“The school and the police department have taken … threat[s of] violence at the schools seriously,” Carroll said.

Anyone with information about any crime is asked to contact Newark Police Department's non-emergency line at 510-578-4237 or via the Silent Witness Hotline at 510-578-4000, Ext. 500.

Follow the Newark Police Department at nixle.com.

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Rhett Delong May 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Over 900 students are absent from school today, obviously costing the school a few hundred dollars. The administration didn't let anyone know about this, they didnt even tell the teachers. Many parents are worried for their children who go here because of this "extreme death threat".No one knows what the administrations is doing about it. Security was supposed to increase but instead its the same as last week and the week before that. Again, administration seems to have ignored something that can cause thousands of injuries, and supposedly death, Not to mention the millions of dollars at risk thanks to potential law suits, complaints, damages to the scchool, and all the other stuff the district chooses to ignore. The school is in bad enough shape as it is, we don't need something like this to screw it up even more. An this is coming from a student at NMHS, we don't know what's going to happen.
Kristen G May 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I personally am quite upset reading about this. My daughter is a student and I was NEVER notified about this. As a parent I feel phone calls should have gone out to the parents about theese threats. Believe me I would not have let my daughter go to school today.
Energizer-Teacher May 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
FYI- the "increased police presence" we were supposed to have didn't happen. We had our usual SRO, and 2 other cops. Wow, what a great display of concern for the safety of our students and staff.
Concern Mom May 15, 2012 at 12:08 AM
This is very sad and whatever the motive this school has changed. I really think it is time for parents, teachers and district office really has to get to the bottom of things. Violence is everywhere but as the old saying goes it takes a village to raise our kids. So with that said, it has to start with parents and the community leaders working together to help our kids be safe in school. A special thanks to the teachers who keep kids their first priority when at school.
Angel May 15, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Same here.My cousin goes to the High School,but this is just Tyler advertising his new album coming out.Nothings gonna happen.Trust me,I know the guy.

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