- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - School officials around the state will be offered special training following several threats that have shut down or caused evacuations at public schools in Kentucky.

Director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety Jon Akers tells media outlets that he estimates there have been at least 17 such threats this school year.

Akers says in the past two months, “it’s risen to the level where there’s immediate concern.”

Akers says he’ll offer workshops to school district officials in December and January in four regions of the state.

Akers says he expects to bring in a retired captain from the state police and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives official to help with the training.

“I just had an overwhelming response from superintendents and from safe-schools coordinators,” Akers said.

“We’ve had bomb threats for a long time,” he said, but there’s been a rash of graffiti or notes threatening violence. He said that’s new and there’s no established way to respond.

Some districts have canceled classes after a threat appeared while others have kept schools open while increasing precautions.

Lincoln County Schools were canceled Monday after a graffiti threat was found over the weekend.

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