Newark High on heightened alert after online threat

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Police are investigating an online threat against Newark High School.


Police have increased their presence at Newark High School after the school received an online threat Monday morning, officials said.

The threat indicated there could be a school shooting, said Sgt. Gerald Bryda, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.

Bryda emphasized that the threat has not been substantiated, and extra officers will be present at the school all day.

“Detectives are actively investigating this threat,” Bryda said. “No incident or threats have been observed on campus by police.”

Wendy Lapham, spokeswoman for the Christina School District, said an anonymous person saw the threat on social media and alerted school officials, who contacted Newark Police around 6:45 a.m.

The district posted a statement to the school’s website and used its automated phone system to inform parents, many of whom had already heard rumors about the threats.

“There was a great deal of concern from Newark High parents,” Lapham said. “We definitely had parents who came to the school to sign their students out.”

In the statement, Assistant Superintendent Ed Mayfield sought to reassure students and parents.

“As a precaution, we have placed Newark High School on heightened alert status,” Mayfield said. “The school will operate as a regular school day, but school staff and administrators will pay special attention to any suspicious individuals or behavior taking place near the school, and will follow up immediately with law enforcement.”

The threat comes just days after Newark High students joined hundreds of other schools in a national school walkout to call for an end to gun violence and to honor victims of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

Also on Monday, Delaware State Police investigated an online threat against a DuPont school. Troopers maintained an increased presence at A.I. DuPont High School, A.I. DuPont Middle School and H.B. DuPont Middle School but ultimately determined the threat was aimed at DuPont Middle School in Chicopee, Mass. Police in that jurisdiction have already made an arrest.

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