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A quarter of Gloucester students absent Friday following gun rumors

About 25 percent of the 5,530 children in Gloucester County Public Schools were absent Friday after rumors circulated that students might possibly bring firearms to Gloucester High School that day. The Gloucester Sheriff’s Office stepped up its presence at local schools Friday in response to those rumors.

Gloucester Sheriff Darrell Warren said his office became aware of the rumors on Dec. 18 but was unable to substantiate them.

In light of the tragic shootings at a Connecticut elementary school the previous week, Warren said he and school division superintendent Ben Kiser decided to proceed with plans to put extra officers and additional safety measures in place at all county schools on Friday.

A school division employee reported about half of the GHS student population was absent Friday, and that absentee numbers were also high at Page Middle School, which is located on the GHS campus. School officials did not supply per school attendance data but assistant superintenden...

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