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Broward County Schools: Lockdown Over After Radio Station Threat

A locked gate at a Florida high school in Pembroke Pines (CBS/WFOR)
Broward County, Fla. School Lockdown Over
A locked gate at a Florida high school in Pembroke Pines (CBS/WFOR)

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (CBS/WFOR/AP) Florida authorities have lifted the Wednesday lockdown of all schools in Broward County after police said the credibility of a threat made against students had diminished. 

The lockdown was lifted at 1:45 p.m.

The lockdown started said early Wednesday morning when police said a woman called a radio station to say her husband was "going to respond to a school in Pembroke Pines and start shooting."

"Schools are dismissing normally, but there will still be police presence," Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Daniel Rakofsky said. He did not elaborate on why the threat had diminished.

Broward Superintendent James Notter said the threat included hate words, apparently against certain ethnic and religious groups.

Police said that although the district chose to lockdown schools, other government buildings stayed open. Many have their own security on site.

Schools in Pembroke Pines, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, were initially placed on lockdown as a precaution, and police in bullet-proof vests guarded at least some entrances. Then the lockdown was then extended to all 300 Broward County schools. The county has nearly 257,000 students.

Neither the man nor the woman have been identified, though police said they were following several leads. Authorities would not identify the radio station.

While schools are dismissing normally, "All after school activities have been canceled, including athletic activities and all adult vocation and educational program have been canceled," Broward County Superintendent Jim Notter said, according to CBS affiliate WFOR. "After care programs will dismiss at the usual time, however parents and their guardians will need to sign their child out."

Nervous parents flooded telephone lines and showed up at schools, s word of the lockdown spread.

Irma Hernandez had tears in her eyes as she and her husband waited outside Charles W. Flanagan High School, where her 15-year-old son is a student.

"We're just nervous, scared," she said. "We don't know what's going to happen."

Broward County Schools spokeswoman Nadine Drew said schools continued operating as normally as possible. In addition to a police presence at normal dismissal, all after school activities were canceled.

The county has the state's second-largest school district.