MANCHESTER – All public schools in the district were closed on December 3 for the police investigate threats made online. Ultimately, the threats were determined to be rumors, but officials said they had to be treated as credible until they were all researched.
Superintendent David Trethaway said in a message to the public that the police investigated a student who made a comment on social media regarding a weapon. The police determined that threat was not credible.
However, additional statements had been made on social media claiming to have knowledge of a possible threat at the high school.
“While these statements may be false, the police are investigating each individual to determine if any statement is based on a known fact or again are just more rumors,” he said.
Since the police had not yet investigated every statement, and to allay fears of parents, all of the schools were cancelled, including the Regional Day School. This also meant no transportation for Manchester students to vocational school.
“In order to quell any further public alarm, the Manchester Police Department wanted to inform the community that (December 2) we were made aware of numerous rumors, originating at the Manchester Township High School, in reference to a potentially violent event involving a gun taking place (December 3) at the High School. The school administration and the Manchester Police Department worked together to gather all the information and speak to all individuals involved. Out of an abundance of caution, while the rumors were actively being investigated, the decision to close the schools was made by Superintendent Trethaway,” police said.
“Due to the cooperation of several students and their families, it was determined that the rumors were in fact rumors which were deemed through the investigation to be not credible. We want to reiterate once again, that all information received was fully investigated and there is no credible threat of violence towards any persons or the school community. We always take any kind of threat against our schools seriously and the safety of our community is our primary goal. We will remain vigilant with safety measures to ensure safe learning can continue throughout the district,” police said.
“I apologize for the inconvenience but since all statements and individuals cannot be fully investigated by the police at this time, we must take every step to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff and every statement must be taken seriously and investigated by the police,” Trethaway said. “Any individual who makes a threat or communicates a false rumor on social media will face serious consequences from both the police and the school district as this is extremely dangerous.
“I want to thank the Manchester Township Police Department for their assistance in addressing this situation and as always I want to thank the parents and staff for your understanding and cooperation,” he said.