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STAUNTON, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a Virginia school district’s decision to cancel classes after being flooded with angry messages over a school calligraphy lesson that involved copying a Muslim statement of faith in Arabic. All times local:

2:30 p.m.

The superintendent of a Virginia school district that canceled classes amid backlash over a lesson involving the Islamic faith says the district received some messages that posed a risk of harm to school officials and threatened protests.

In a message to parents and employees of the Augusta County School District on Friday, Eric Bond says the school isn’t aware of any specific threats of harm to students.

Sheriff Randall D. Fisher says security has been assigned to the Bond, the teacher who created the lesson and the school’s principal. He says the district received tens of thousands of emails and Facebook posts, some “threatening and very profane in nature.”

The lesson at Riverheads High School involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic.


7:30 a.m.

Schools in a Shenandoah Valley county in Virginia are closed and a weekend activities have been canceled amid an angry backlash about a school lesson involving the Islamic faith.

Augusta County school officials said they decided to cancel classes Friday based on the recommendations of law enforcement officials and the school board.

While school officials said they had not received any specific threats, they were alarmed by the volume and tone of the complaints, including some from outside Virginia. In response, additional police were stationed at county schools Thursday.

Anger over the lesson has escalated since a teacher at Riverheads High School had students in her class complete an assignment one week ago. It involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic.