Threat on bathroom stall prompts Derry school district to cancel classes Tuesday |

Threat on bathroom stall prompts Derry school district to cancel classes Tuesday

Natasha Lindstrom
A screenshot of the Derry Area School District's website on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 displays an alert message sent to students, parents and guardians announcing that classes will be closed Tuesday after officials discovered a threat on a bathroom stall.

Derry Area School District is canceling classes on Tuesday after discovering a threat on a high school bathroom stall, officials announced Monday night.

School officials said they notified local police immediately and do not have reason to believe the threat is credible.

“The safety of students is always our first priority,” the district said in an alert to students, parents and guardians. “While we believe this is to be a ‘copycat’ act, we are proceeding with an abundance of caution.”

The district also canceled all after-school activities scheduled for Tuesday.

District transportation will continue as normal for students who attend special education and private schools, district officials said.

The missed day will be made up by students on April 3.

The incident follows a spate of threats against schools across Western Pennsylvania since Feb. 14, when 17 people died in the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school in five years in Parkland, Fla.

Most threats have come via photos or statements posted to social media, while others were posted or scrawled on bathroom walls. Some threats were verbal, directed at specific students or teachers.

All were investigated by school administrators and local law enforcement. In some cases, state police and the FBI were involved.

As of Friday, the Tribune-Review counted at least 16 separate incidents since mid-February.

That same day, a 16-year-old Freeport Area High School student was removed from class and charged by Buffalo Township police with making terroristic threats; Butler state police charged a Cowansville man with making a bomb threat against Karns City High School; and investigators determined a threat to “shoot up” a Fayette County high school was not serious.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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