Police news

Pennsylvania State Police and Union City Area School District are investigating a threatening letter discovered within a school building on Tuesday morning.

State police at Corry reported a suspicious letter left by an unknown person was found within Union City Middle-High School, 105 Concord St., threatening violence at the school around 8:40 a.m.

"All I can comment on is it was found within the building around the start of school, so it was not a conventional letter sent via mail. It was found within the school building," said Cpl. Brian Palm of PSP Corry.

Police are not divulging the specific threat made in the letter at this time since the investigation is ongoing.

"Since this investigation is ongoing, we're probably not going to get into the specifics at this point about what the letter specifically says other than just threats against students and people at the school," Palm said.

Matthew Bennett, superintendent of Union City Area School District, confirmed a threat was discovered in the middle-high school Tuesday morning and the district immediately contacted authorities.

"The threat itself was not specific in nature as far as name or timeframe," Bennett said. "Pennsylvania State Police were immediately notified and continued to investigate and also made a bigger presence on our campus through the day to make our faculty, staff and kids feel safe."

Palm said troopers remained at the school until about noon after responding to the incident.

"Several of us responded and obviously we ensured the safety of everyone within," he said. "We had enough people there to ensure that there was not an active threat at the building. Once we determined that, we remained there and worked with the school district. They went through their policy as far as contacting parents."

Bennett sent out an automated call to all parents of students in the Union City Area School District to inform them what was going on and give them the option of pulling their children out of school for the day without any penalty to the students.

"I put out a call to all of our parents and let them know we did receive a threat," he said. "Although it wasn't specific in nature, I thought it was important for us to be transparent and gave parents the option of keeping their kids here or coming to get them. Some opted to get them and others opted to keep them here."

Palm said the letter was not handwritten and appears to be typed.

"Our forensics people as well as the school's forensic people, as far as their IT department, are trying to determine how and where this letter originated, where it came from, if in fact it was generated within the school and by whom it was generated. So we're  still trying to determine all that," he said.

Investigators said the validity and credibility of the threat is still being investigated.

"The state police are asking me not to give details on the threat itself, but I am letting people know for their own peace of mind that it did not have to do specifically with any individuals and it didn't give a timeframe or anything like that," Bennett said. "We're just trying to work with everybody and be transparent."

Anyone with information regarding the threat is urged to contact Corry-based state police at 814-663-2043.

Union City Area Middle-High School was open as normal today and Bennett sent out a second call to ensure parents it was safe to send their kids to school.

"I put out another call to that effect. In that message, I did let parents know neither I nor the Pennsylvania State Police would open a school that we didn't think would be a safe atmosphere for learning for our students," Bennett said.

 

 

 

 

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