Saturday, February 25, 2023

Schuylkill County Schools and Emergency Officials Deal with Computer Generated Threats on Friday

Several Schuylkill County School Districts and Emergency Officials dealt with threats made on Friday.

The incidents began early Friday when school districts and prominent organizations across Pennsylvania began receiving text messages making serious threats.

The school districts that did receive the threats notified Schuylkill County Communications, and in turn, that information was relayed to all the school districts and law enforcement.

All the threats turned out to be unfounded.

Out of an abundance of caution, districts like Shenandoah Valley and Mahanoy Area initiated their security protocols and eventually sent their students home for the day.

Districts like North Schuylkill notified parents but kept their students in class for the day.

The threats were a trend across Pennsylvania on Friday.  As the day went on, there were news reports out of Berks, Chester, Lehigh Counties as well where similar threats were received.

According to sources, the threats were believed to have been computer generated.

Schuylkill County Emergency Coordinator John Matz said their organization was in communication with Superintendents throughout the day.

"There have been a number of unsubstantiated threats received throughout the Commonwealth, including several within Schuylkill County. School district officials had notified the Office of Emergency Services / 911 and local law enforcement and that initial information was relayed to all superintendents." Matz said.

"Precautions were taken and facilities searched. Each district made the determination on how to react and follow through. As the additional information was received from state agencies that similar threats were being received in areas throughout Pennsylvania, that was also relayed from our office to the superintendents of each district."