Florida and Georgia school districts are on alert after a computer disk is found in Iraq containing information on some public schools in their communities. The FBI says the disc contained photos, floor plans and other school information.
In a separate warning the Education Department and Homeland Security is advising school leaders to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. This comes on the heels of the deadly school siege in Russia.
Leon County sheriff's deputies stand guard after a gas leak threatened students at Gilchrist Elementary, pushing school leaders into “crisis response mode.”
LT Jimmie Williams with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, “Have plans for each public school, for any kind of natural disaster, man made, we are prepared to respond to any school threat."
On a larger scale, eight school districts in six states including Florida and Georgia are on alert after two computer disks loaded with vital school information like crisis response plans and evacuation plans are found in Iraq, sparking warnings from the FBI and Homeland Security.
Ron Steverson, the director of school security and safety for Leon County schools, says, "We received warning from USDOE and Homeland Security way ahead of that and have been on heightened state of vigilance since post 9/11."
Despite the alert Florida officials say there is no immediate threat to Sunshine State schools.
Bill Montford, superintendent of Leon County schools, says, "We are confident we have all the proper plans in place to protect our students and staff even at athletic events."
The Leon County Chemical/Biological Terrorism and Disease Manual, which has detailed plans for a course of action when an emergency arises, is distributed to every school in Leon County.
The school in Florida was in Lee County, and it turned out the school's code of conduct was on the disk. In Georgia a Jones County school was on the disk. Jones County is just north of Macon.