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After threat, BAHS beefs up police presence

BELLEFONTE — The administration in the Bellefonte Area School District spent much of the week addressing concerns over a verbal threat that quickly spread through social media.

As a result of the threat, there has been a strong police presence at the high school the past several days. That will also be the case at the football game tonight against Central Mountain, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Rogers Stadium.

Bellefonte Area High School Principal Michael Feddison addressed parents in an email, which was sent out at 5:39 p.m. on Wednesday.

It read: “I wanted to reach out to let our families know that I addressed the student body this afternoon following the reports from yesterday. I reinforced with the students that we continue to make safety our top priority and that no threat occurred even though social media posts suggested otherwise. I thanked the students for their willingness to report their concerns to school officials and through various hotlines and online reporting systems. Students were encouraged to reach out to teachers, counselors, principals, and/or other trusted adults in the building if they have questions.

As always, we thank you for supporting the students, staff, and faculty of Bellefonte Area High School.”

Just a few hours later, at 8:44 p.m., superintendent Michelle Saylor addressed the concerns again in her second email to parents this week.

Saylor’s email read: “I am writing to follow up on my previous communications regarding the concerns raised at Bellefonte Area High School yesterday. The district has been working closely with our school resource officers and the Bellefonte Police Department to thoroughly investigate the concerns. We are in agreement that our schools are safe and there is no threat to student safety. As an added precaution, there will be an increased police presence in our schools for the remainder of the week and at Friday’s football game. Our goal in taking this action is to ensure our students, staff, and families feel completely safe in our schools.

We appreciate your diligence and encourage you to always speak up if you have any concerns regarding school safety. Thank you for your attention to this communication.”

Bellefonte will not employ metal detectors in the school or at the football game, according to district officials. However, fans are discouraged from bringing backpacks to the game tonight. Those who do bring backpacks to the game will be subject to search.

Officers from both Bellefonte Borough and Spring Township Police Departments have assisted this week and are expected to have representatives at tonight’s game.

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