900 Passaic students skip school due to gang violence

A third of Passaic High School's student body elected to miss school Friday amid threats of possible gang violence.

Police say rival gangs had threatened that a shooting would take place at the school in response to the murder of a former Passaic student last week. About 900 students stayed home rather than risk getting caught in any potential violence.

Eight police officers were stationed at the school due to the threat, twice the usual number. There was also an increased police presence at Passaic's middle school as a precaution.

Superintendent Robert Holster says the event reflects why schools need more authority to expel students known to be gang members.

"It's time to get rid of the thugs and cancer in our schools," says Holster. "We cannot have innocent children sitting next to threats in the classroom."

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