Report of MAHS weapon threat under investigation

BY STACI WILSON

Montrose Area school officials are still trying to get to the bottom of numerous reports received by the district last week that a student planned to bring a weapon to the high school on Friday, Dec. 21.

Superintendent Michael Ognosky said Pennsylvania State Police were contacted immediately with the information.

In a recorded message sent out to parents in the school district over the weekend, Ognosky said, “In light of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut on Friday please be assured we will take all measures to ensure the safety of our students.”

Initial reports about the potential a weapon being brought to the school happened prior to the mass murder at the Connecticut elementary school on Friday.

Ognosky said that the police met with the student named in the reports. Police examined the juvenile’s social media accounts and conducted a three and one-half hour interview with the youth and his parents.

The police investigation yielded no evidence supporting the reports, Ognosky said.

At the high school, about 50 students have been interviewed regarding the allegations, but, the superintendent said, as of Monday morning, he still was not able to identify the root of the rumors. But he said, the district is continuing its investigation into the matter.

The superintendent also said state police have indicated they will maintain a physical presence at the school on Friday.

Anyone with information regarding the matter is asked to contact MASD Superindent Michael Ognosky at 278-6298.

But the message sent out by the superintendent, along with the promise of a police presence has not been enough to assuage the fears of some parents.

Many have indicated they don’t plan to send their children to school on Friday.

With the tragic school shooting and the reports of a weapons threat at the high school, Ognosky confirmed that the district would be looking into the security procedures and protocols in place for people attempting to gain access to the schools during the day.

It’s an issue other area school districts are also taking a look at following Friday’s event.

Blue Ridge Elementary Principal Matthew Button said the district regularly holds intruder drills and while no changes in security are currently being implemented, the principal indicated the district would be looking into its security procedures.

Susquehanna Community Superintendent Bronson Stone said the school’s management team had met Monday and identified six strategies to add to security in the district.

Stone said the staff would be apprised of the changes at a faculty meeting on Tuesday and implementation would begin on Wednesday.

Students at Susquehanna observed a moment of silence Monday morning. In the next few weeks, safety and security measures will be reviewed, Stone said.

“Every school district in the country owes it to their community to be reflective in a time like this,” Stone said.