Multiple central PA school districts, authorities investigate school threat

LANCASTER, P.A. --- Authorities were first alerted a little after ten Sunday night regarding a threatening image circulating online.

The image showed a variety of guns with a message warning students at "MHS" to stay home.

"No matter what the information was, people were looking at it through the lens that it applied to the school district of Lancaster, specifically McCaskey High School," said Lt. William Hickey with the Lancaster City Police Department.

Authorities say they contacted the School District of Lancaster and city officials and began investigating the image.

A half hour northeast, Milton Hershey School officials, as well as the Derry Township Police Department, investigated the same image.

Both areas came to the same conclusion: Their "MHS" was not the school associated with the image.

A spokesperson with the School District of Lancaster said: "We feel strongly this threat is a hoax. For security reasons, we can’t release specific details related to our precautions. However, we are working closely with Lancaster City Police."

Milton Hershey School officials tweeted they found "no link" to the school.

Albemarle County Police officials in the Charlottesville, Virginia area say a juvenile was identified and arrested Sunday night around nine for threats against Monticello High School, with charges pending.

Despite the conclusion, Lt. Hickey said they've handled about a "dozen" social media threats since 2012.

"Most of them turn out to be viral hoaxes but you always want to run it down, you always want to make sure you're not dismissing something. Even if it looks like a hoaxes, you have to make sure. We don't play games with safety and kids."

He also said the department sent a couple extra officers to the McCaskey High School area as an added precaution.