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Crete School Board President Justin Kuntz on Saturday morning released a statement explaining why Crete Public Schools ended the school year Thursday — a day earlier than scheduled.

The statement said school administrators were advised by the Saline County Sheriff's Office on Thursday night that a person with ties to students and staff had expressed an intent to harm local schools.

Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol interviewed the person and determined that the person was not a danger to others, according to Kuntz. District officials asked local law enforcement about restraint or surveillance of the person during school hours Friday, but law enforcement declined to provide those services.

"Consequently, the Crete Board of Education and our team of Administrators felt that we had to err on the side of caution and cancel class when we could not be guaranteed to know the location of this individual between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday," Kuntz wrote.

He mentioned a similar situation recently in the Millard Public School District, when a similar threat resulted in the arrest and detention of a person threatening harm.

"Millard West High School was able to have school the following day because law enforcement had removed the threat from the community," he said. "We were not given this luxury Thursday evening."

The Saline County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Friday that it was informed by a "concerned citizen who had received an electronic transmission (that) … could be interpreted as a potential threat to local school districts."

The sheriff's office declined to comment further Saturday.

Sunday's graduation ceremony will take place as scheduled at 3 p.m., and the district will arrange for students to retrieve personal items and meet with teachers in the upcoming days, Kuntz said.

Read the full statement on the district's Facebook page.

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