In Pocono Mountain, School Officials Ask Students Not to Spread Rumors

MONROE COUNTY -- The deadly school massacre in Florida has sparked worry across the country.

Nationally, sales of bulletproof backpacks have soared.

Here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, several students have been charged in connection with threats at their schools.

In other school districts, parents have received phone messages and texts about threats that have been investigated and found to be not credible.

"I do worry, but hopefully, the school has learned from other incidents and can take appropriate safety measures and take it from there,” said parent Ishmael DeJesus of Pocono Summit.

Officials in the Pocono Mountain School District have investigated recent rumors of possible school violence and say thankfully those rumors are just that: rumors.

Still, people remain on edge.

"I'm sorry. It's upsetting. It's upsetting, and I get anxiety, you know? I just feel so bad for all those parents and students in Florida and you think about Sandy Hook, which is my little guy's age, so it makes you think about cyber school or going a route where you feel like your children might be safer,” said one mother who did not want to be identified.

Pocono Mountain's superintendent is spending this week visiting students in each school in the district to send this message: if you have seen something or heard something concerning, contact a trusted adult, but do not share that information on social media because it can spiral out of control and create panic.

"I think it's a good start. I don't know if kids are gonna take to it because they kind of do their own thing. They're kind of rebellious sometimes, but I think it's a good start,” said Matthew Banton of Coolbaugh Township.

School leaders also want anxious parents to know they will share information if and when they can.

In a statement to Newswatch 16, Pocono Mountain school leaders said:

"It's important for parents to understand that our priority and responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students, our employees and our schools. That means before we can communicate with our parents…we need to notify the police and investigate."

"I would like maybe some transparency on how they did view the threat and handle it and what they did to declare that it wasn't serious,” said one mother.

School officials in Pocono Mountain are also speaking with students this week about seeking help if they feel anxious or depressed.

5 comments

  • Tebow

    Well, I guess since they can try and ask these kids to refrain from spreading rumors, can we also ask the female teachers stop spreading their legs for these young kids as well? Only fair to ask the same in return!

  • Power Me Up

    Kids. Spreading rumors. Impossible.

    We have given children the control. Plain and simple. They are now calling the shots. They are making the demands. They are involving themselves in complicated matters that they cannot comprehend because of their immaturity (yeah, I typed it) and lack of life’s experience to know the difference between feelings and facts. They are running on high octaine emotions and hormones, and it’s gotten out of hand.

    Kinda reminds me of post-Viet Nam with the Khmer Rouge regime placing children in positions of extreme power to use and abuse as they saw fit. Skeeeeeeery stuff, man…

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    It appears as though the students are in contr at the moment.

    The school districts are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

    All it takes is one kid who doesn’t give half a shyt and makes an empty threat and schools closed for a few days

    Jump! How high?

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