USF Polytechnic reopens today

USF Polytechnic suspended classes for the rest of the day Monday afternoon after a Polk Community College (PCC) student made death threats to a PCC staff member.

Though the threat occurred at the Winter Haven campus, PCC officials said they had concerns that the student might go to the Lakeland campus, since he had taken classes at Lakeland before.

USF Polytechnic and PCC Lakeland share the campus.

When word was received at Lakeland that PCC would close, USFP had no choice but to follow its lead.

“You want to let as many people know in 10 minutes,” said University spokesman Michael Hoad. “The simple, fastest way of getting the message was through MoBull.”

Since MoBull can’t differentiate between students from branch campuses and those of the main campus, the message was sent to about 46,000 students, he said.

Director of University Advancement David Steele said that by the time MoBull was alerted, the Lakeland campus had already been evacuated.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies took the student who made the threats, Robert M. Thurston, into custody under the Baker Act.

Classes will resume Tuesday at all campuses.

— Cynthia Roldan, staff writer