The Cumberland Life Festival at Tayamentasachta was evacuated, fifth-graders bused back from an outing at Antrim Township Community Park and Greencastle-Antrim schools put on "Keep Out" Tuesday morning after a threat was discovered spray-painted on the barricade at the dead-end of Milnor Road in Antrim Township.
“I’ll get more than 18 killers mafia Your school is nxt gang (expletive deleted) enjoy CLF Satan," is how the threat read.
"CLF could be referenced as the 'Cumberland Life Festival' and the decision was made to cancel that event for today for everyone’s safety," Dr. Kendra Trail, G-A superintendent, wrote to parents Tuesday. "We are in a 'Keep Out' situation, which means all students will remain indoors today.
"Please know that local and state police responded until all students could get safely back to their respective buildings," Trail wrote. "It is extremely unfortunate that we had to cancel outdoor activities on many levels, but it is the call that needed to be made."
Hundreds of students were on the grounds of Tayamentasachta, the school district environmental center, for the Cumberland Life Festival, already postponed from May 18 due to rain. Eighth-grade students spend months preparing for the festival where they portray various aspects of life in the 1800s and give presentations to younger students and the public.
Trail said she was alerted to the threat around 8:30 a.m. and her priorities were getting police on the scene, canceling the festival and getting everybody back to their buildings quickly and safely.
Teachers led orderly lines of students across the wooden bridges from Tayamentasachta. Eighth-graders, many dressed in period costumes, had to leave behind some of the props for their presentations, including rolling pins and other baking accessories, apples and an apple press and three goats, a sheep and a horse.
Trail said her heart goes out to the eighth-graders and their teachers because of all the hard work that goes into the Cumberland Life Festival but "I had no other choice. There was no way I would put students' lives at risk."
Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy, on hand at Tayamentasachta, commended Trail for her decision to cancel "something people worked so hard at. Safety has to trump pleasantries in life sometimes."