The superintendent of Clay County Schools said Friday that West Virginia State Police are investigating after administrators learned that at least two students at Clay Middle School may have been involved in making threats against Clay Middle School.

Officials say the threat involved pre-planning.

"The threat was that they were going to shoot up the school in some kind of Columbine (High School)-type picture," Clay County Schools Superintendent Kenneth Tanner said.

Tanner said administrators found out about the verbal threats Tuesday and that the threatened incident, which never took place, had been targeted for April 20, the same date that the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado in 1999.

No specific students were targeted in the Clay County threats, he said.

"We believe the allegations are a credible threat. We don't know at this point if it was something that could have been carried out," Tanner said.

The students who are suspected of making the threats are not at the school now, but Tanner said he could not discuss any disciplinary action that may have been taken against the students, saying only that "We've made arrangements for them not to be here." He said he is not aware of any charges in the incident.

Clay Middle School already was scheduled to dismiss early Friday at about noon for faculty senate and for teacher training on testing.

Tanner said there are about 60 more students absent Friday than normally would be expected.

Tanner said a couple of teachers at the school chose not to be there Friday because they were concerned that perhaps they could be targets.

Tanner said administrators asked a couple of law enforcement officers to be at the school Friday morning as a precaution and to ease people's fears.

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