COAL TOWNSHIP — A 12-year-old male student at Shamokin Area Elementary School has been charged by Coal Township police with making an indirect threat on social media toward the school Wednesday morning that prompted a lockdown lasting less than an hour.
Patrolman Chris Lapotsky filed a juvenile petition charging the Coal Township boy with a felony of terroristic threats and misdemeanor of disorderly conduct relating to the threat received through Snapchat. He declined to release what the threat involved.
School district officials reported the threat to Coal Township police at about 10 a.m.
The lockdown was reported to parents at 10:51 a.m. and lifted at 11:40 a.m.
Police said the juvenile was identified as the person making the threat within a matter of minutes.
Police reported the juvenile’s parents brought the boy to the Coal Township Police Station, where he was subsequently taken into custody by juvenile probation officers.
District administrators said the lockdown, which prohibited anyone from entering or exiting the elementary school, was conducted as a precautionary measure.
Last Thursday, a “low-level” threat written on a bathroom wall at Shamokin Area Middle/High School forced school district officials to lock down the school for an hour.
That threat remains under investigation by Coal Township police.
Police responded to the middle/high school for a similar incident March 28 that involved a threat, written on a bathroom wall, stating that a weapon was in a student locker.
According to Superintendent Chris Venna, initial reports on social media that the school was under lockdown March 28 were not accurate.
A search of every student locker in the school did not reveal any weapons.
Middle/high school Principal Todd Hockenbroch said the school is implementing additional security measures, such as installing cameras, to prevent further incidents.