Shooting threat prompted shutdown of Parkland schools, police say

Written by on September 12, 2022

Shooting threat prompted shutdown of Parkland schools, police say

By Jim Deegan
September 12, 2022

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — The anonymous threat of a shooting at Orefield Middle School led to last week’s closure of that school and others in the Parkland School District, police said Monday.

South Whitehall Township police released that detail Monday as their investigation continues with assistance from the FBI.

Police said officials received the threat Wednesday night on the Safe2Say tipline. The anonymous threat indicated someone would come to Orefield Middle School on Thursday and shoot people, according to police.

Parkland officials decided to close the middle school Thursday. Because of the school’s proximity to the district’s bus facility, transportation for the day also was suspended, which led to the closure of all district schools. The schools remained closed Friday but instruction continued through remote learning.

All schools reopened Monday without incident.

Parkland School District Superintendent Mark Madson said it has been a stressful time for everyone. He issued a letter to parents and staff Monday.

“The South Whitehall Township, Upper Macungie Township Police and Pennsylvania State Police provided additional officers and troopers at the district schools today to help ensure the safety of students and staff,” Madson said. “Additionally, administrators were on site at all schools during the time when children enter school in the morning and when they leave at the end of the day. Resources will continue to be made available to help safeguard our schools.”

Authorities said they are continuing to try to identify who made the threat.

“The intent is to hold the person or persons responsible for this threat criminally accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law,” police said in a statement.

Police ask anyone with information to contact the South Whitehall Township Police Department at 610-398-0337 or email pdinfo@swtpd.org. Police say students are encouraged to use the Safe2Say app to provide information that could help the investigation.


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