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Central Dauphin School District to see increased police presence at schools today after social media threats

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– The Central Dauphin School District will see an increased police presence at its schools today after social media threats surfaced.

Dr. Carol Johnson, the superintendent of the school district, released the following message:

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, a posting to a social media website called SnapChat began circulating among school students in our area.  In the post, it was alleged that the person who wrote the original message heard that “someone was going to shoot up a school.”  The allegation made a reference to CD East Middle and CD East High. Again, the person posting the message alleged that they heard this and then posted it. At no time was a direct or specific threat made to or about either of these schools or any other school in our district.
The school principals immediately contacted the Lower Paxton Township Police who began an investigation.  The principals assisted in the investigation to the extent possible.

The police believe that this social media posting was part of a chain of rumors circulating throughout Dauphin County schools and other districts in surrounding counties.

Out of an abundance of caution, police officers from every jurisdiction that covers our district, including Lower Paxton Township Police, Swatara Township Police, and the PA State Police, will have a presence at the schools today to the extent that they deem necessary in order to ensure smooth and safe operations at the schools.

This incident appears to be the result of students passing along the unsubstantiated comments of others on social media.  If, at any point in the investigation, the police believe that a credible threat exists, we will notify parents immediately and take any further action as the situation warrants.
It is important for parents and students to understand that in this day and age of social media where rumors can run rampant, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Our district will always work with our law enforcement partners to accomplish that important task. We are thankful for the quick response and for the strong support that we have always received from these police departments.

Dr. Carol Johnson, Superintendent