WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP/CBS) – Death threats at a Chester County high school, have students and parents in the West Chester School District outraged.
The threats were made in the form of someone posting photos to a now deleted Instagram account. They were apparently posted Sunday but referred to Monday, which was also the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The photos, first noticed on Sunday, are of students who “will die.” Each post was punctuated with racial slurs toward the students being threatened.
Stacy Pollard’s 11th grade son was one of the East High School students, targeted.
“When I found out at first about it, I woke him up at 1 o’clock he was sleeping,” said Pollard.
She learned her son had seen the posts about him, was scared but didn’t tell her.
“He talked to the administrative’s in the building, and felt like they didn’t take it seriously. They didn’t consider his feelings,” added Pollard.
Pollard is among several parents now upset, not only with the threats but with how the school may have handled the incident.
“It was basically being brushed under the rug as always just a hoax. It 9/11 we deal with that,” said Pollard.
“This is a history and a habit of West Chester area school district and it has to change,” said Dayna Spence who also had a child threatens on the Instagram account.
“We take all threats seriously. Safety is our number one priority. We look at some these things especially social media and try to purge of this is credible or not,” said West Chester Area School District Jim Scanlon.
The district superintendent added the threat was quickly determined to be more of a hoax than a threat, by police.
Within hours police had determined who made the threatening posts.
“There was a lot of concern about the hate crime aspect of this. Juvenile is an African-American 14-year-old juvenile,” Chief Joseph Gleason of West Goshen Township Police.
The 14 year old was a freshman at the school and is being charged criminally with making terroristic threats, harassment and cyber harassment.
“Any racial slur, regardless of the color of your skin are not going to be tolerated in our school system,” added Scanlon.
On top of facing some serious charges the student who made the threats is suspended and could be expelled. The district also says now it’s going to gather students there after this incident and have some talks about racial sensitivity.
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