DETROIT (December 20, 2012)--Dozens of schools in two Michigan counties canceled classes for the rest of the week in the wake of rumored threats of violence and problems related to doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar.
Schools in Genesee and Lapeer counties north of Detroit area started the Christmas break Wednesday night rather than holding classes Thursday and Friday as originally planned.
The decision affected thousands of students.
Genesee County school officials said in a statement that the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last week "changed all of us."
Lapeer-area schools Superintendent Matt Wandrie said all of the rumors have become a major distraction for students and staff and have disrupted learning.
Friday is the day when some people believe ancient Mayan calendars predict the world would end.