Social media threat closes Manchester, NJ schools on Friday
MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP — All schools in an Ocean County township are closed Friday after threatening student comments were posted on social media.
A threat made by a student Thursday morning was investigated and determined to not be credible by police, according to a message from Superintendent David Trethaway on the district website. In the afternoon, additional statements appeared online involving other individuals who claimed to know about a threat against the high school .
Because there was not enough time for Manchester police to investigate the threats and speak with all the individuals involved, Trethaway said the decision was made to cancel classes on Friday at all district schools. No threats were made against any other school.
"We must take every step to assure the safety of all our students and staff and every statement must be taken seriously and investigated by police," according to Trethaway. "Any individual who makes a threat or communicates a false rumor on social media will face serious consequences from both the police and the school district and this is extremely dangerous."
Trethaway did not disclose the nature of the threat.
Manchester Police Capt. Vincent Manco Friday morning said the threat turned out not to be credible following an investigation.
"Due to the cooperation of several students and their families, it was determined that the rumors were in fact, rumors which were deemed through the investigation to be not credible. We want to reiterate once again, that all information received was fully investigated and there is no credible threat of violence towards any persons or the school community," Manco said in a statement.
Manco said that the district takes all threats seriously.
An online threat Tuesday night against Howell High School led to the arrest of a student but no cancellation of classes. The student, who Howell police said posted a picture of a rifle, was found with an AirSoft rifle.
The threats came after a shooting Tuesday at a Michigan high school left four students dead and eight people wounded.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ