WINSLOW TOWNSHIP – A 16-year-old boy will be charged with disorderly conduct for a social media threat that involved guns and explosives at a Jefferson County school, according to GantDaily news partner WJAC-TV.
Authorities haven’t identified the teen whose Internet post prompted Tuesday’s lockdown at the Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School.
In the wake of Monday’s school shooting in Ohio, officials at the school didn’t take any chances after learning about threats on a social media outlet, implying that guns and explosives would be used against students on or around Feb. 28.
About 450 students were evacuated from Jeff Tech around 9 a.m. Bomb-sniffing dogs and firefighters searched Jeff Tech but determined there wasn’t any danger after a three-and-a-half hour lockdown.
“You worry that it could be a copycat situation,” said adult education coordinator Michael Knobloch. “That’s another reason we responded quickly and very firmly to the situation that we had at hand.”
Pennsylvania State Police went to the suspect’s home and took him into custody before he left for school. State troopers told WJAC-TV that neither guns nor explosives were found at the suspect’s home.
Investigators won’t say who discovered the alleged threat, only that it was reported to school officials.
“Our plan for partial lockdown and evacuation went very smoothly,” said Knobloch. “It’s something we have practiced before and it’s something that we practice annually so we can handle situations like this.”
Students returned to class Tuesday afternoon, but some parents decided to take their children home. One parent said she is thankful that the suspect never made it into the school building.
“It’s just a scary thought — I can’t even imagine. I’m just glad they’re all OK,” she said.