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Lancaster superintendent says students who share threats on social media 'will be held accountable' [update]

mccaskey facade

J.P. McCaskey High School, in the School District of Lancaster.

Updated 9:58 a.m. Friday:

School District of Lancaster superintendent said Thursday afternoon in a statement on the district's website students who threaten students and staff on social media "will be held accountable."

Superintendent Damaris Rau also clarified the district's decision to follow a normal schedule Thursday after officials learned of the threat that morning. 

"We immediately worked with our School Resource Officers and other Lancaster City Police officials to conduct a thorough investigation," she said. "Based on the information we had at hand, we felt confident that our students were safe remaining at school and following a normal schedule."

Students and staff, she said, were "calm and orderly" following protocol with additional police presence on the high school campus. 

However, the phone systems were down Thursday morning, which complicated matters, Rau said. 

"We apologize to parents and other family members who had trouble contacting the school directly," she said. 

Original story, posted 11:49 a.m. Thursday: 

Lancaster police are investigating a potentially threatening social media post targeting School District of Lancaster students, the district announced Thursday morning. 

"This morning toward the end of homeroom we were notified of a screen shot from Snap Chat that may include a threat against students," district spokeswoman Kelly Burkholder said. "Lancaster City Police were immediately notified and are conducting a thorough investigation."

The district is continuing a normal schedule and police presence may be seen across McCaskey Campus, Burkholder said. 

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Lancaster police said the investigation is ongoing, and there does not appear to be any danger to students or staff at any Lancaster school. 

Police ask anyone with information on the incident to call 717-735-3301 or submit a tip through the Lancaster police CrimeWatch page

Only high school students are in school today, Burkholder said, as the elementary and middle schools are closed for parent-teacher conferences. There is no school districtwide Friday. 

This story will be updated. 


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