UPDATE: Riceville Community School District Superintendent Barb A. Schwamman says classes will be held on Friday, weather permitting.
Schwamman says law enforcment will be on campus all day and there will be an early dismissal at 12:40 pm. Riceville Community Daycare will reopen at 6 am.
All students and parents are asked to enter the High School or Elementary entrances only.
Previous story below
RICEVILLE, Iowa – People within the Riceville School District and community are applauding students for turning in a school threat that canceled classes Thursday.
According to a post on social media, Riceville schools “received information in regards to a potential safety concern that was directed toward the Riceville Community School District.”
“It boosted my confidence with my community. Those are the kind of people we need more of,” community member Gennica Kehl said.
A post on Riceville’s social media accounts said the investigation is ongoing.
“The Howard County Sherriff’s Department is currently investigating the situation and we will release more details when they are available. Please refer to the district website, Facebook, and Twitter pages often for updated information,” the school said.
Barb Schwamman, the superintendent, said students reported the threat Wednesday night. She touted the bravery of the people who came forward to make the school aware of the issue.
She added the district had to take the threat seriously due to recent school shootings across the country.
Schwamman said there is a daycare in the school and they are not releasing any more information regarding the threat.
Kehl lives in Riceville and said she was preparing Thursday like it was any other morning. Shortly after, she heard about the threats that closed school for the day.
“It’s one of those things you never think it would happen until it happened,” Kehl said. “It makes my heart hurt.”
Kehl said the one thing that continues to make her proud about the Riceville community is that students came forward to make the school aware of the threats.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “You hear about the bad things in communities. It really makes you think there is some good in the world. We need more people like that."
Betsy Morse, who has a sophomore at Riceville, said "It's just too surreal. It does not seem ... it hasn't set in yet."
One thing nearly everyone in Riceville agreed on was that the school did the right thing by canceling classes.
"I think that's wonderful. I think they keep saying if you hear something or see something you should say something," said Mary Eastman, who has grandchildren at the school.