Lexington Senior High School closed early Tuesday following a threat on social media. It happened a day after early dismissals from three other regional school systems that appear to be victims of the false reporting action known as "swatting."

Lexington dismissed students at 11 a.m. City school officials said in a release that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution for the safety of students and staff. Lexington police are investigating.

Three other area school systems dismissed countywide early on Monday: Wilkes, Watauga and Yadkin. Lexington was different in that only one school was affected.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office says the county school system and at least six others across the state received threats from a Gmail account Monday morning. All of the emails used similar wording. Schools were searched and no bombs were found.

The technique is known as “swatting.” Exploiting fears of school violence, someone sends in a false report of an active shooter, a bomb threat or some other emergency. The goal is to get authorities to respond to the location.

A wave of such threats spread across the country last spring, the Associated Press reported.

According to Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin’s message to the public Monday, the threat against their schools was not considered credible, but releasing the students was necessary to ensure their safety.

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