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Norman North on high alert after threatening message found in bathroom stall

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NORMAN, Okla. - Students and staff members at a local high school are on high alert following a threat.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday, parents began receiving automated calls from Norman Public Schools about a shooting threat at Norman North.

"This morning, a student notified school officials at Norman North High School of a threatening message that referenced the possibility of a school shooting today written on a stall in a female restroom. We immediately notified the Norman Police Department and they are on site investigating the situation. Student safety is our top priority and out of abundance of caution additional police officers will be patrolling in the area, on school grounds and inside Norman North throughout the day. To ensure students have adult supervision, school will remain in session. However, we understand some parents may want to take their child out of school. We respect that decision and there will not be any attendance or academic consequences. We encourage anyone with information to immediately contact Norman North's school office at 405-366-5954 or call Crimestoppers at 405-366-STOP."

Authorities say a threatening message was found on a bathroom stall.

The message allegedly referenced a shooting, but officials are not saying exactly what the message read.

"It's kinda like an unreal feeling. You hear about it on the news all the time, and you don't think about if it's going to happen to you or at your school," said student Quinton Crawford.

"As soon a I heard that and heard the helicopters, I just kind of rushed over there and told him to meet me outside,"said parent Bethany Clay.

Bethany couldn't get to Norman North fast enough after getting an automated message from the school about a shooting threat.

"I was almost in tears when I picked him up. I was like 'give me a hug,'" she said.
She was one of many parents who decided to get their children early although classes were still going on.
"At this point and time, it's just scary because they say it's just a threat. But kids who make threats this day and age, you have to take seriously," she said.
School officials say a student notified them this morning about the message in the girls bathroom.
"I was kinda afraid. You don't know if anyone is going to actually get killed or anything. I was trying to keep cool, stay calm as much as possible, said Crawford.
He was sitting in class when students found out.
"They started freaking out a little bit, they just kinda ran all over the place," he said.

Norman police are still trying to figure out who actually wrote the message and if the threat is real.

"I know we have several officers that are going to stay on site inside the building. Walking halls making sure people feel safe. Patrols are working not just here but also at bit Norman high school. Cleveland county had volunteered some of their officers to be on site," said Sarah Jensen, Norman Police Public Information Officer.
School officials say they feel prepared to handle threats like this.
"There is a protocol in place. We are constantly ensuring that our teachers have all the information that they need. This morning, we notified all teachers at all of our school to make sure they were extra alert," said Alesha Leemaster, Norman Public Schools Public Information Officer.
She says in this day and time, you can't be too careful.
"Student safety is our top priority and it doesn't matter when the message is received or what day it is we always take it seriously Because we don't take chances with student safety," said Leemaster.
As for parents like Bethany, this threat was a little to close to home.
"I'm just glad I got him home safe," she said.