UPDATE: Students Dismissed After Reported Threat
ARCHBALD — Police say nothing was found after a sweep of a high school and middle school in Lackawanna County, but the bomb threat written on a wall at Valley View High School was enough for administrators to evacuate the buildings and send students home for the day.
Police and school administrators at Valley View said this was a reminder of just how seriously they take threats. The superintendent says a student told the school resource officer about the bomb threat written on a wall, and
The day started with a lot of uncertainty for the 1,600 Valley View Middle and High School students. They were told there was a bomb threat and were rushed out of classrooms and brought up the street to the intermediate school.
“They just told us we were being evacuated from the school. we walked out the doors and that was it. They didn’t tell us much,” said ninth grader Mitchell McHale. “It didn’t feel like a drill, I knew it was something pretty serious.”
There wasn’t really an idea of how serious the situation was as some students were put on busses to be sent home, and parents started picking up others.
“Extremely scary, they called me out of work, extremely scary,” said Janet Joyce of Archbald. “You love your child, you think they’re safe, you know? I just hope it wasn’t a joke, or I hope it was a joke.”
The evacuation and the police presence were due to a threat written on a wall inside the high school. Administrators say a student told the school’s resource officer, the threat was taken seriously, and investigators were called in. While state police searched inside, sheriff deputies used dogs outside to check under cars.
The search turned up nothing, but Valley View’s superintendent was grateful a student felt comfortable taking the threat to police.
“There’s a word for it, it’s called leakage, and we want to create an environment where students feel comfortable going to the administration and telling us when there’s been a problem,” said Don Kanavy, Valley View Superintendent.
The next step for police is to try to figure out who wrote the message, because whether it’s written online or on a school wall, it’s still taken very seriously, and whoever wrote it could face criminal charges.
“When it happens at one school, you’ll probably see it somewhere else, but you also see the punishment for it, and that’s our role now. We’ll be investigating this,” said Archbald Police Chief Tim Trently.
Chief Trently says the FBI, state police, and several local police departments were all called in to check the school. He says the school is safe for students to come back to class tomorrow.
Anyone with information about the threat is asked to call Archbald Police.