School districts will have a heightened awareness Friday - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

School districts will have a heightened awareness Friday

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COLONIE, N.Y. -The North Colonie School District's Superintendent, Joseph Corr, says the safety and security of students is his top priority. In turn, rumors about incidents supposedly planned for area high schools on Friday were taken very seriously, Friday being the alleged day the world will end.

"At any time, whether we're in a time of heightened anxiety or not, we have to take any word spoken, any message sent, very seriously," says Corr. "I think what has happened is we have heightened anxiety and as a result of that, while people may dismiss that and think it's silly and unfounded, I think it just adds to that overall sense of anxiety that people are feeling currently."

Corr says over the past few days, he is aware of 15 to 20 other districts that have had similar rumors and worked to investigate them.

He says while there is no substance to the rumor, Colonie Police will increase their presence at all of the district's schools on Friday.

While the "end of the world" belief is only part of the reason why schools will have a heightened awareness, scientifically, UAlbany professor, Dr. John Justeson, says there is no reason to worry about an apocalypse of sorts.

"it's total nonsense as far as I'm concerned," says Dr. Justeson.

"I'm an earth science teacher, and scientifically, that's just a pretty silly thing to think," adds Mary Kelly of Albany. "We go out of our way to make sure everyone has a normal day and things run smooth and easy just like normal."

That goal is also the goal of Corr.

He says he knows his schools are safe and secure places, and remaining aware of potential problems only adds to the security.

"We work in every way possible to review what we do when it comes to security, to strengthen and reinforce good existing practices, or to change when change is needed," says Corr. "and we're doing that right now."

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