School districts in Lebanon County faced uncertainty on Wednesday, Dec. 8, over an unspecified threat made on social media.
On Dec. 8, Cornwall-Lebanon School District sent out an email stating that administrators had been made aware of this social media threat. The threat appeared on Tuesday evening, according to Sgt. Wade Achey of the South Lebanon Township Police Department.
“We don’t believe the threat is credible at all,” said Achey.
This belief was echoed in the email from Cornwall-Lebanon.
“Because this threat has been received by multiple school districts across Lebanon County, we do not believe it to be a credible threat at this time,” the email said.
School districts and local police departments have been in communication regarding the threat.
“We did increase patrols,” Achey confirmed. “We have been conducting an investigation into it.”
“The Palmyra Area School District takes all threats seriously and works with local law enforcement on matters pertaining to the safety of students and staff,” according to an email sent out by the district. “A recent phenomenon occurring across the state is for individuals to submit Safe2Say anonymous reports. In some instances, these submissions are completely falsified with fictional demographic information and totally false claims. In other instances, individuals are submitting very general statements with no details and do not provide helpful information.”
On Wednesday evening, Cornwall-Lebanon School District sent out another email addressing the vague and widespread nature of the threat.
“We are aware of vague, anonymous threats that are circulating on social media. We have thoroughly investigated every threat and will continue to share any new information with local law enforcement,” the email said. “We have been informed that similar potential threats on social media have been circulated and caused disruption in other districts in the region and across the Commonwealth.”
“We can confirm that there has been an increase in the amount of re-posting of misinformation spread on social media throughout the country that is vague and is not directed to any specific school entity,” district spokesperson Amy Wissinger told LebTown.
Cedar Crest High School also issued an email to families in the district on Dec. 9.
“This [the threat] appears to be part of a disturbing social media trend across the nation, which involves students posting and sharing disruptive images and messages on social media,” wrote principal Christopher Groff. “These posts are often inaccurate, spread misinformation, and disrupt the learning environment.”
“As we have previously experienced, viral social media posts often can create fear and anxiety,” Groff wrote. “What happens in other parts of the country often affects us locally.
“If you or your child come across any rumors or pictures on social media, please do not share or repeat the information,” he concluded. “Instead, contact school administrators immediately with any concerning information. It will be promptly investigated and addressed.”
This advice was seconded by Achey.
“Contact school administrators or call your local police non-emergency line,” he said.
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