SHIPPENSBURG (Sept. 10, 2019) — Parents were notified about a bomb threat against Shippensburg Area Senior High School by way of social media tonight.
The district’s new superintendent, Dr. Chris Suppo, posted a security alert announcement on Facebook telling parents of the threat and addressing the district’s plans to handle it without closing the school.
He said the district learned of the threat this afternoon.
His letter, posted on Facebook at about 9 p.m., did not specify how the district found out about the threat.
The letter indicated the high school will be open tomorrow, however.
Suppo said local law enforcement is working with the district to assess the threat and develop a plan to protect students.
“In an abundance of caution, regional and local law enforcement will be prevalent at our High School during arrival and dismissal times tomorrow,” he said.
Police K-9 units will clear the building to ensure it is safe before staff or students can enter. Law enforcement will also be highly visible throughout the day making rounds in all of the district’s buildings.
Faculty and staff will help by being vigilant in all the district’s schools, he said. They will immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity.
Protecting Students and Staff
The plan is to use only the front and rear entrances at the high school in the morning. Police will be stationed at both points. The rear entrance is near the auditorium lobby.
“Please speak with your High School student regarding these changes for tomorrow,” Suppo said in his open letter to parents.
He said all students and staff members can safely enter the building after 6:45 a.m. tomorrow.
He ended the social media post thanking the district’s parents and students “in advance” for their patience.
Suppo did not say in his post how the district received the threat information. Many times warnings about such threats come through the state’s Safe to Say Something website run by Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.
The website provides an anonymous place for providing tips.
According to the website, the program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.
The idea is to provide a place to “say something” before it is too late and tragedy occurs.