Extra police presence on hand at Bethel Park High School for 2nd day

Threat at Bethel Park High School sends parents, students into panic

BETHEL PARK, Pa. — For the second day in a row, extra police presence and precautions will be taken at Bethel Park High School following a threat reported on Sunday.

School officials at Bethel Park said the threat was not credible, but they'll continue to take extra security measures as a precaution.

According to school spokeswoman Vicki Flotta, the threat was reported Sunday and investigators found it to not be credible.
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“If we thought there was something that was going to negatively impact their children's safety, we would have cancelled school today,” Flotta said.

Many parents were upset because the district did not alert them of the threat prior to the start of class Monday.

“We felt because the rumor wasn't credible, we didn't need to do that last night, but when the rumor mill started churning we knew. About 8:30 this morning I did send out a call to all Bethel Park High School parents,” Flotta said.

Increased police presence at the school Monday didn’t ease tensions, Flotta said, and caused students to be concerned for their safety.

“We want to reassure parents they checked the rumor out, and again, found it to not be credible. The goal is for the high school to be back to normal as soon as possible,” Flotta said.

Officials said about two-thirds of students went home early.

“I brought her to school and got a message from the school to come pick her up,” said parent Doug Pierce.

Channel 11’s Cara Sapida reported that someone had texted his girlfriend Sunday, saying he was planning on bringing a gun to school. But again, school officials deemed the threat not credible.

FULL SCHOOL STATEMENT HERE:

This letter is being sent to clarify what transpired at Bethel Park High School this morning and to assure you that your children's safety is always our first priority.Late Sunday night, we received information about a rumored threat against the high school. School Police Officer Jim Modrak and the Bethel Park Police Department immediately investigated this threat and found it not to be credible. However, Officer Modrak requested a visible police presence at the high school this morning to reassure students of their safety, including searching students and scanning them with wands.While we were convinced that the threat was not credible, the district must take a firm stance about perceived threats. We want our students and parents to know that we will not take any threats lightly and a full investigation will be conducted. From time to time, we may elect to have increased police presence in our schools. This does not necessarily mean that something bad has happened. It may be a preventative measure, a routine search or even a drill.We have received some comments from parents that we should have notified you of the rumors. This is our ongoing dilemma. While we believe in transparency, it would be an endless task to notify you of the volume of rumors we deal with on a daily basis. There are also times when we cannot share details that might jeopardize an ongoing investigation. However, should there ever be a real emergency, we would notify you immediately and take all necessary precautions to ensure your children's well being.We ask for your continued support when rumors occur. When your child comes home with a rumor that concerns students' health or safety, please notify us so that we may check it out as quickly as possible.Today's experience has provided the District with another opportunity to review our emergency plans and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that we are doing all we can to create and maintain a safe environment, and communicating appropriately with our parents when situations such as this arise.We apologize for any unnecessary concern your family may have experienced today and we thank you for your continued support.It is our hope that things will return to normal tomorrow at Bethel Park High School. Our staff is looking forward to getting back to the business of educating your children in a safe environment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.
Sincerely,Nancy Aloi RoseSuperintedent