PITTSBURGH — Threats sent through Snapchat have been made to several schools and districts in the Pittsburgh area since Monday evening.
All 13 Propel Schools switched to remote learning for Tuesday because of threats that were initially sent through Snapchat before circulating on other social media platforms.
The same threat made its way to the Sto-Rox School District, impacting the Junior/Senior High School, according to the Stowe Township police chief.
The Sto-Rox School District posted on its website and on Facebook that high school students were dismissed at 9 a.m. and would learn virtually for the remainder of Tuesday, as well as on Wednesday.
North Hills School District officials said the district received the same Snapchat threat received by “multiple municipalities as well as the city of Pittsburgh.” They said classes are being held as scheduled Tuesday, as the threat was “thoroughly investigated by multiple agencies including Ross Township police and has been deemed not credible.”
Two Pittsburgh schools were searched Tuesday morning after a Snapchat threat was received, a Pittsburgh Public Schools spokesperson said. The threat, which officials do not believe is credible, impacted South Hills Middle School and Brashear High School. Both schools are located on the same campus.
“We take all threats seriously,” the PPS spokesperson said, adding that the schools were searched before the arrival of students. Families were notified of the threat and the search via a robocall Tuesday morning.
The McKeesport School District also reported a threat to Founders’ Hall Middle School.
West Mifflin Area School District received a threat Tuesday afternoon in the form of six students getting a text message or email from an anonymous phone number.
Channel 11 has learned that the FBI is helping local police in investigating the school threats.
FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Joe Rothrock told Channel 11 at first, they assume every threat is credible
“Ultimately we are here to preserve life and protect the public the best we can. The only way to do that is to assume all of these threats are credible. We follow up on every investigation, lead, and make sure we determine what the motivation is for that threat,” Agent Rothrock said.
The FBI has received an increase in requests from local police departments to help in school threat investigations.
“We do work with the social media companies to try to strip away some of that anonymity and provide some level of attribution to who is making those threats. The FBI has a number of resources in that regard and experts that assist in that,” Agent Rothrock said.
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