Doomsday apocalypse, threats of violence prompt rash of school closings in Michigan

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If you’re able to read this article, there’s a good chance the end of the world allegedly predicted by the ancient Mayan calendar for Friday, December 21, 2012 has somehow been averted.

Nearly three dozen schools in Sanilac County, Genesee County and Lapeer County in Michigan aren’t taking any chances, though. They have decided to cancel classes on Thursday and Friday, reports WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate.

The cancellations are unrelated to area weather. Conditions in the region will be in the mid-30s, with accumulations of snow up to one inch likely, according to Weather Underground.

Instead, school officials say the rationale for the school closings is the possibility of violence similar to the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — combined with rumors of the coming apocalypse.

“Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students,” writes Matt Wandrie, superintendent of Lapeer Community Schools, in a blog post. “Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced.”

There have been no substantiated threats of violence to students or teachers at any of the schools in the three counties, according to WDIV.

Scuttlebutt about a school shooting did spread at one point at Grand Blanc High School in Genesee County, however. An unnamed student there reportedly sent a text to his mother saying that shots had been fired on campus, The Detroit News reports.

School officials did not explain how an early vacation would be an improvement in the event of a Mayan-foretold doomsday.

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Eric Owens