Hazleton Area school officials and state police are investigating after bullets were found in a boys’ bathroom in the Ninth Grade Center building Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators said the ammunition immediately led to heightened security, including the use of metal detectors and more police presence.
“After all students were dismissed from school, a member of the cleaning staff found a quantity of ammunition in a plastic bag in a trash can in one of the lavatories at the ninth grade building,” said Superintendent of Hazleton Area, Dr. Francis Antonelli.
It was just last month when Hazleton Area officials learned of a gang beating. A ninth grade girl was attacked by other students at nearby Altmiller Park.
That attack is still under investigation.
Hazleton area officials have joined forces with state leaders to fight what they call the growing problem of violence and gangs in the area.
Newswatch 16 spoke with half a dozen parents with children in the district who said the latest issue, the discovery of ammo, has them scared.
“Of course it’s scary because of the children and if they’re carrying guns, and things like that,” said Brenda Polashenski of Hazleton.
“Our schools are a reflection of our communities and these issues are with us today and they are very real issues,” said Dr. Antonelli.
State police are still investigating who left the ammo in the trash.
School officials said they will continue with their security practices, including having a state trooper, city police officer, and a staff of security official on hand.