New Jersey authorities are investigating school social media threats circulating on social media


CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WPVI) — Anxiety is high for parents and students following an increase in threats targeting schools in the tri-state area.

There have been at least three threats against schools in South Jersey in just a few days.

Police said they were alerted to an unspecific threatening social media post Tuesday morning at Cherry Hill High School West.

But Action News students said it was making the rounds on Monday.

“I don’t want to assume it’s wrong because you never know,” said Kajanae White, a freshman at Cherry Hill West. “But yeah, I will say it’s a little scary.”

“Just that it was just on social media. I don’t know much about it but it makes me a little nervous,” freshman Eric Chein said.

Cherry Hill Police confirm that the message, which appears to be a text message shared via Snapchat, is the same one that was discovered in the Washington Township School District late last week.

Cherry Hill School District officials said the message spread to several other New Jersey school districts in a letter to parents sent Tuesday.

“It was a non-Cherry Hill West specific threat. It basically doesn’t say anything about a school. It just said there would be someone with a gun in the school and a shooting could happen. around noon,” Lt. John said. Moyer, the investigative commander of the Cherry Hill Police Department.

The New Jersey Homeland Security Office says it is aware of a generic school threat circulating on social media and says so far it does not seem credible as they continue to investigate with county and local authorities. .

Moyer says such threats have increased lately, particularly following the November 30 shooting at a school in Oxford, Michigan. The attack left four dead and seven injured.

“It seems like, unfortunately, since the incident in Michigan happened, it kind of seems to be bringing this type of activity back, and unfortunately we’re seeing it more and more,” Moyer said.

Last week in Lawrence Township, police said a loaded gun was found in a student’s backpack and the student was taken into custody.

Police say they want to know about all threats, even those widely publicized on social media.

“We’d rather know. And be able to take the appropriate steps to make sure it doesn’t happen and make sure it doesn’t happen than find out after the fact,” Moyer said.

The Washington Township School District also received threatening phone calls to the high school on Tuesday morning, prompting the school to shelter in place while police investigate.

School officials say within an hour the green light was given for school to resume as normal.

And in Ocean City, school officials were made aware of a screenshot of a text message threatening to shoot.

An investigation is ongoing, but at this stage police do not believe the threat was credible, a city spokesperson said.

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