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Threatening email sent to 5,000 parents, students through Massachusetts school's account

The email containing “racial phrases," and a follow-up email with "graphic images," appeared to be sent via the Gardner High School portal, police said.

A threat against a Massachusetts high school was sent via email to 5,000 people over the weekend, prompting a police investigation.

An email hit the inboxes of children who attend Gardner High School and their parents on Friday and contained a threat against the school, according to both local police and the school administration. In a post to its Facebook page, the school said parents were reporting the email that appeared to be sent from a school account.

It is unclear what type of threat was issued against the school.

“We want to apologize for the graphic content of this email,” the school said. “We are working closely with the Gardner Police Department to investigate this and to determine the origin of the email.”

Police confirmed that an email was sent to thousands of parents and students containing a threat against the school with “racial phrases,” according to a Gardner Police statement. A follow-up email was then sent with graphic images, apparently taken from the internet, that claimed the threat against the school would be carried out on Sunday.

The emails appeared to be sent through the vendor of “,” which is used by the district.

“The Gardner Police Department has checked the schools to ensure they were secure an no threats were located at this time,” police said. “The police department is working with the school department and the city’s technology department to investigate this matter and will continue to do our best to ensure the students and staffs safety.”