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Roanoke County addresses concerns of Northside parents following threats

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ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - The Roanoke County School Board heard from a group of concerned Northside High School parents Monday night.

This comes after a shooting and a bomb threat at the school within the past month.

Parents like Jean Gniazwodski say the repeated threats at Northside have the whole community on edge.

She says the bomb threat was the worst.

"The last incident, boom, nobody's allowed in the school, I didn't know how far up Peter's Creek road you could come. From the airport on up. That's scary," said Gniazwodski.

It's restrictions like that that make Gniazwodski uneasy, and speaking with other parents and alumni, she's not alone.

"We all went to school here, this is not the way it was when I was here," said Gniazwodski.

School officials agree the new rules during a crisis, and even during the regular school day, are a hassle.

"We're checking kids in and out for using the bathrooms, we're having hallways, we're having initial assemblies, we're having things in place, might not be there next year, but we're very sensitive and driving very cautiously at this point," said School Board Member Tom McCracken.

Just this month, Northside has announced a new principal, former Assistant Principal Dominick Mckee.

He says because of that sensitivity, heightened security measures may take a while to go away.

"We might continue them in the beginning of the year if not throughout the rest of next year, but just monitoring, seeing exactly what's worked and continue doing that, because we want to do everything we can to make sure that the students are safe and sound," said Mckee.

Gniazwodski has now created a Facebook group for parent concerns called "The Viking and Norsemen Support Group".

It already has more than 630 members.

She says what she's heard from everyone is the hope that the fear, and heightened security, ends soon.

"I hope so, I'm praying it will," said Gniazwodski.

Gniazwodski says she plans to expand her group, even adding some students at Northside High School, but hopes that by next year these talks about safety will no longer be necessary.