Student’s note puts WAHS on lock-down

A 15-year-old Warren Area High School student faces felony charges after allegedly placing a threatening note and causing a lock-down at the school Monday.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, “It has been determined that this incident was isolated and no further threats exist to the safety and well-being of the students and staff of Warren Area High School.”

“The person who made the threat was identified, located, and taken out of school,” Sgt. Eric McKean said. “There’s no other threat. I’m 100 percent comfortable saying there is no additional threat.”

According to Warren County School District officials, a threatening note was reported at about 10:30 a.m. and the building was locked down.

“A hand-written note was found in the boys restroom this morning indicating that an act of violence would occur at WAHS today,” according to a district press release.

The note did not include a lot of detail and was generally a “threat to harm people at the school,” McKean said. The threat was reported to school staff.

“The building was placed under lock-down while administration worked with the Pennsylvania State Police to investigate who wrote and placed the hand-written note,” the district press release said.

“A student has been identified as the alleged suspect and the incident is being handled by law enforcement,” according to the district press release. “Shortly after noon, the school was taken out of lock-down and students assumed their regular schedule.”

“After we got there, we did some interviews, narrowed down a time-frame when this could have occurred,” McKean said. “The kid that got charged, we developed him as a suspect. We spoke to him. Charges followed from that.”

State police said that student, a 15-year-old boy from Warren, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of felony terroristic threats and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

The charges were filed through the Warren County Juvenile Probation office.

“I would like to thank Pennsylvania State Police and the Warren Area High School administration for their great collaborative effort to see this come to a quick resolution,” Superintendent Dr. William Clark said.

The district will be consulted on the charges to be filed and Clark said the district will move forward with charging the student.

“I would not hesitate charging a student who disrupts the educational process during the school day,” he said. “If the charges can be substantiated and supported, the district will move forward with Pennsylvania State Police with respect to prosecution.”

Monday was the second consecutive school day in which the district had a threat-related incident.

On Friday, a portion of an essay handed in weeks before by a Youngsville High School student was made public. Many parents opted to take their students out of school. While the portion of the essay that was posted on social media was graphic and violent, the remainder of the creative writing assignment made it clear that the information was not presented as a threat. District and law enforcement officials were aware of the essay in early March and had concluded that it represented no credible threat.