Threat made against Bellefonte High School

Investigation reveals no credible threat; students concerned

BELLEFONTE — A verbal threat that quickly spread through social media put students and faculty at Bellefonte Area High School on high alert Tuesday morning.

According to multiple sources, the alleged threat warned students that something would be taking place at the high school on Friday, Sept. 13.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the district reported that a thorough investigation revealed there was no credible threat to the high school.

An email from the district sent at 3:28 p.m. included the following statement: “After extensive searches and investigation by police and the safety team, we want to share that in this case there is no threat to the high school. We thank you for your patience as we did our due diligence. Even as social media has its benefits, everything posted is not always as it appears and needs to be thoroughly vetted.”

When reached by phone late Tuesday afternoon, Bellefonte superintendent Michelle Saylor said that students in the district are safe.

“There were some tips that we received and those were investigated,” Saylor said. “We received different tips on different things and everyone is hyper-sensitive right now.”

The Bellefonte Borough Police Department took the threat seriously and took to its Facebook early Tuesday morning to address the situation with the following post.

“Bellefonte Police is currently investigating multiple reports of social media posts concerning the Bellefonte Area High School. These posts although raise concern and are alarming in nature, are being aggressively investigated. The police department along with school administration are taking this seriously. Anyone with information that is first hand is asked to call Centre County dispatch at 1-800-479-0050. We thank you in advance for your vigilance in monitoring social media. When reporting information please have as much information as possible as to how you learned about the posts as the validity of the information is important. As the investigation is progressing, no credible concerns have been identified as of this time.”

At 8:33 a.m., parents in the Bellefonte Area School District received texts and emails about the situation. The email read:

“The Bellefonte Area School District has received tips through our district and social reporting systems including the Safe2Say hotline regarding a possible threat against the high school. The police have been investigating. The district takes each tip seriously. To date there is no credible evidence, however, we will continue to monitor the situation. Thank you to everyone who utilized the safety support systems as designed. The safety of our students is always our top priority.”

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