Threats to L.I. high school prompt banning of backpacks, lockers

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WANTAGH, Long Island (PIX11/AP) –– Backpacks are banned and lockers are sealed after a rash of threatening messages prompted the transformation of a Long Island high school into a fortress of heightened security.

Students at Wantagh High School must now carry their belonging in clear plastic bags, which are subject to search throughout the day. They must also sign in and out to use the bathroom.

The new security measures were outlined in a May 22 letter from schools Superintendent Maureen Goldberg and posted on the school’s website. They went into effect this week and will remain “indefinitely,” the school said.

An update posted Tuesday noted that the increased security protocols “were executed smoothly” and the school hasn’t noticed a drop in attendance now that the rules are in place.

Goldberg said one security procedure has been modified, saying the school will open Wednesday a second set of boys and girls bathrooms, still subject to security.

In recent weeks, the school has received several threats involving messages that included the threat of a bomb. One was left in a boy’s bathroom on May 1.

The school said it is working with police to find whoever made the threats. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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