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Four Escondido Charter Schools Close Amid ‘Specific Threat’

Four Escondido charter schools canceled all classes Friday in response to an online threat about a planned shooting at one of the campuses.

The American Heritage schools — Heritage K-8 Charter, Escondido Charter High School, Heritage Digital Academy Middle School and Heritage Digital Academy High School — announced the single-day shutdowns Thursday evening on their joint website.

"We want our students and staff to be safe, so as a precaution we are closing all American Heritage Charter schools tomorrow," the advisory stated.

Dennis Snyder, executive director of the schools, described the threat to reporters.

"(Staffers) saw posted that ... at 10:30 (a.m.) 'Escondido Charter High School is going to be shot up,' I'm going to kill myself,' or ‘commit suicide,' along those lines, (and) ‘You'll see me on the news,"' Snyder said.

Escondido police said they were treating the hostile statements as a credible threat.

School officials said classes would resume Tuesday, following the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

The four campuses in the 1800 block of East Valley Parkway have a combined enrollment of about 1,700.

Snyder, a teacher and former football coach in the Escondido Union High School District, founded the schools in 1996.

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