Police began investigating and some parents began worrying last week after a seventh grader who attends Secaucus Middle School apparently sent threatening electronic mail to a sixth grader at Huber Street School on Sunday, Jan. 23. Although the mail supposedly turned out to be a joke, the sixth grader told his sister about the message and the kids' parents called the police. The police responded by posting a police officer at both elementary schools on Monday as a precaution. Authorities have been investigating the incident since 6 p.m. Sunday, less than an hour after the recipient logged onto America OnLine and discovered the message. "I'm not free to discuss any of the details," said Lt. John Buckley last week. "Whatever security measures we've taken were appropriate." School officials and police would not confirm the schools that the students attend, nor would they reveal the content of the messages. They did say they did not believe students at either school were in danger. "A pre-teen child received an e-mail late Sunday afternoon," Buckley said. "We have a detective investigating the matter." The police have talked to the parents of the seventh grader who sent the e-mail, and according to reports from inside source, the message was supposed to be a joke. Superintendent of School Constantino Scerbo said the police notified him on Sunday once the report came into their office. "They told me that one pre-teenager had sent a message to another," he said. "The investigation shows that it was not harassment." Scerbo said he immediately notified the principals at each of the schools, as well as others whom he thought needed to know. "I also asked that the police post an officer at the schools as a precaution," Scerbo said, noting that the police had the matter taken care of within 24 hours. "No one was ever in danger." Neither the police nor the superintendent would say what the e-mail said. Parents concerned Several parents have raised questions about how the situation was handled, as rumors have made the situation seem worse than authorities claim. "A lot of parents are very upset that the kids were sent to school the next day and there was only one police officer inside," said an anonymous Secaucus parent on Tuesday. "This is a question of whether or not the parents should have had an option [of sending their kids to school]. There's no reason why the snow chain [a list parents use to call and notify each other of school closings] could not have been used." "There was the feeling this was not a real threat," Scerbo said. He said he didn't notify everyone because he did not want to get people upset. The event comes in the wake of a November incident hear the high school when two high school students were ambushed by a gang of a dozen kids, sending one of the victims to the hospital. But more importantly, the incident echoes a yearlong concern over possible violence in the schools in the wake of the 1998 shooting of students in a Colorado high school. One parent of a student in Huber Street actually had family members in high school in Littleton when the shooting occurred, according to one report. Mayor Dennis Elwell said he was satisfied with the way the matter was being handled by the police and the school officials. "It is important that our professionals act responsibly and not create a panic," he said.