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Plant High principal assures parents graffiti threat won’t disrupt classes

By Tribune staff
Published: March 3, 2014 Updated: March 3, 2014 at 09:17 PM

TAMPA — Graffiti in a Plant High School restroom triggered a chain reaction Monday that involved Tampa police and ended up with the principal sending out a recorded call to parents.

The graffiti in one of the girl’s restrooms threatened damage to the school, said Hillsborough school district spokesman Steve Hegarty.

Principal Rob Nelson “sent out a message that somebody scribbled something on the wall, that it was not really a threat,” Hegarty said. “We called Tampa police, and when Tampa police officers come and spend time in the bathroom, a girls’ bathroom, that’s going to start rumors.”

The call from Nelson told parents, “We would clean it up and try to find out who did it,” Hegarty said. “The threat was not toward any individual, just some nonsense about doing damage to the school.”

Tampa police confirmed they were called to the school but also said the threat did not appear to be real.

“There is no indication that the threat is credible, but we still have to operate as such,” said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy, “until we determine who wrote the message. In abundance of caution, we will increase presence at the school tomorrow.”