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Juveniles Charged in Connection With April 7 Threat

The threat led to a week-long police investigation and convinced half the student population to stay home on April 7.

Two juveniles were charged today in connection with a making a vague threat at Cranford High School that led to a police investigation.

The juveniles, ages 14 and 15, were charged with creating a false public alarm, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. A written message that mentioned violence against others on April 7 was found last week written on a classroom table.

The school district notified police who launched an investigation. The juveniles responsible were identified earlier this week and charged this morning.

Superintendent Gayle Carrick lauded the collaborative effort between school officials and the Cranford Police Department in light of the vague threat indicating a possible event at CHS on April 7.

Though she said approximately 48 percent of students were absent that day, the safety of faculty and students was not in jeopardy.

Those CHS students who attended regular class sessions on April 7 met what Carrick called a "visible presence" of Cranford officers and Union County Prosecutor's Office personnel. The day passed without incident.

The threat message was found scribbled on a Cranford High School classroom table and in a Jonathan Dayton High School bathroom stall earlier this week. Both indicated there would be an incident at the schools on April 7.

Springfield's message, according to an official source, was "April 7, 2010, there will be an event to remember."

School officials from both towns called the messages "vague." They have yet to release the exact wording found at CHS.

"We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of threat," said Romankow. "Every student, teacher and administrator should feel that school is a safe place to be. We take all these threats seriously and will ensure that those responsible face the appropriate legal action."

The investigation was conducted by the Cranford Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor's Office and the Union County Sheriff's Department.

These criminal charges are mere accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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