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Southern Texas school district cancels classes after police foil 'credible threat of violence'

Police received an anonymous tip Tuesday about a threat targeting the Donna Independent School District.
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A Southern Texas school district canceled classes Thursday and Friday after police said a possible attack was thwarted.

Officials with Donna Independent School District said in a message Wednesday that it received "a credible threat of violence" but did not provide further details.

"In light of recent events and in an abundance of caution, we will be canceling school Thursday 5-26-2022 and Friday, 5-27-2022," the district wrote, referencing Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

“All district staff will work from home. The safety and security of our students and staff is our first priority,” the statement continued.

Police in Donna, about 160 miles south of Corpus Christi, said an anonymous tip was received on Tuesday about "a possible school threat." Investigators immediately followed up on the tip, Chief Gilbert Guerrero said at a news conference Thursday.

“I want to tell the public, the citizens of Donna, the community that ... we are pretty sure that we foiled the plan, whatever was going to happen is not going to happen,” the chief said.

Four males, two of whom are juveniles, were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, he said. They are all students in the district but he did not identify what schools they attend.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, said at the news conference that the charge carries a prison sentence of two to 20 years.

Two of the males were identified by Valley Central as Nathaniel Seth Montelongo and Barbarito Pantoja, both 17. They were arraigned and issued a bond of $750,000, the news station reported.

Chief Donald Crist with the school district’s police department said there could be additional arrests.

Students are expected to return to class on Tuesday. Crist said a stronger police presence will be at the schools.

The district has 14 elementary campuses, four middle schools, three high schools and two alternative schools.