Collier Township police and the Chartiers Valley School District are investigating a rumor that there would be an “act of violence at the high school” on Friday, but said they have no evidence to substantiate it.
The high school co-principals sent a letter to parents on Tuesday making them aware of the rumor and to inform them that they “have been proven to be unfounded and unsubstantiated.”
Collier Township police are leading the investigation and working closely with school administrators. Police Chief Tom Devin said they first heard of the rumor two weeks ago, but are taking extra precautions in the wake of .
“We have nothing solid on this at all,” Devin said. “Obviously, we’re going to take extra precautions so the schools are safe after what happened. We’re looking at it as a prank as a way for kids to get out of school.”
He said investigators have spoken to one student apparently named in the rumor, but that child did not have knowledge of any threat. Devin said investigators believe the student is telling the truth.
Several parents left comments on the Chartiers Valley Patch Facebook page about their concerns and how their children were reacting to threats.
Devin said it’s not unusual for rumors to surface after major incidents that attract national attention. He said there have been similar rumors on the anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting in 1999.
“You have to take it with concern, but you also have to take it with the whole scheme of things,” Devin said. “We have heightened security.”
Devin pointed to an increased police presence at the schools this week and the potential for a permanent resource officer at the school district’s three campuses.
“We’re not gong to overlook it, but we’re not going to overreact,” he said.
Look below to read the entire letter sent by co-principals Thomas Samosky and Amy Wodnicki.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
This week, a rumor has been circulating that there would be an act of violence at the high school on Friday, December 21, 2012. The rumors have been investigated by administration and reported to the Collier Township Police. These rumors have been proven to be unfounded and unsubstantiated.
The District takes ail rumors and reports of violence very seriously and reports them to the appropriate police department. We Wilì follow any recommendations or requests from the investigating police department to ensure the safe and orderly operation of our school.
In addition, as referenced in Dr. White’s, Leiter ro Parents and Guardians, on December 17, 2012, increased police presence will be in all District buildings this Week to provide additional safety and security.