2 local high schools locked down Thursday due to threatening messages

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MONACA, Pa. - Two area high schools were placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon in response to various threats.

A lockdown began at Central Valley High School around 12:15 p.m. when someone wrote “I have a gun” on a wall inside a girls’ restroom.

According to Center Police Chief Barry Kramer, six police dogs and five police officers searched the school, lockers and backpacks but did not find anything. The lockdown was then lifted around 2:25 p.m.

“I am pleased to announce that a thorough sweep of the school and student body turned up no evidence of any drugs or weapons. The police and school are continuing an investigation to try and identify the person responsible for today's disruption,” Superintendent Nicholas Perry wrote on the website.

No arrests have been made.

Meanwhile, authorities said nothing was found at Belle Vernon Area High School Thursday after the school was put on lockdown for a few hours in response to a gun threat found in a girl's restroom, according to district Superintendent John Wilkinson.

At 11:15 a.m. a student reported finding a handwritten message on a wall in the third-floor bathroom indicating that someone at the school had a gun, Wilkinson said. The school was placed on lockdown and police were called.

Each of the 160 students was scanned by a metal detector and backpacks and purses were searched, officials said.

K9 officers from Westmoreland County Park Police and the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office searched lockers.

Students were released about 30 minutes later than the usual day ends.

Rostraver Township Police Lt. John Christner said in a news release that no firearms were found in the school.

Wilkinson called the threat a “copycat” incident to a lockdown Wednesday at a Beaver County high school after a message referring to a gun was found in a restroom. Police at Ambridge found a student with a knife.

Police are reviewing video surveillance. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 724-929-8811.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.