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21% absent at school where rumor started

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Seven times as many students as normal were absent yesterday at Liberty High in Eldersburg despite the presence of uniformed and plainclothes officers stationed at the Carroll County school amid rumors that warned of "Columbine-like violence" planned for June 6, 2006 - a date being linked to satanic references because it translates to 666.

On a typical day, about 3 percent to 7 percent of Liberty's students are absent, said Florence Oliver, principal of the nearly 1,200-student school.

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