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Pottsgrove Student Investigated In Facebook Threat

POTTSTOWN PA – A Pottsgrove High School student who on a Facebook page Tuesday (May 27, 2014) reportedly threatened violence against students at both Pottsgrove and Pottstown high schools has been interviewed by local police, is being evaluated under a Pottsgrove School District policy to determine the gravity or likelihood of continued danger to him- or herself or others, and may face future charges, according to police sources.

Pottsgrove Student Investigated In Facebook ThreatResource officers at both high schools, who respectively are police officers in the Lower Pottsgrove and Pottstown police departments, have made a preliminary determination that the violent language posted on the social media site was rhetoric, and that no immediate threat exists, the sources said.

But the weapon-related Facebook threat has nonetheless prompted police to ask the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office to determine what, if any, charges may be filed against the student, they added.

The Facebook post was first discovered by a Pottstown student Tuesday night, who notified Pottstown High School administrators, according to a joint statement from Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Shellie Feola and Pottstown Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Sparagana. Pottstown, in turn, alerted Pottsgrove, and the resource officers began their investigation.

The Pottsgrove student’s posting prompted Feola to put into motion requirements of Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ policy No. 218.2, which intends to determine the extent of risk posed by the student and whether he or she should be allowed to attend school and, if so, under what circumstances. Law enforcement authorities are being consulted in the evaluation process, Feola said, although she did not specify which.

That review had not been completed as of Wednesday night (May 28), Pottsgrove Director of Technology and Communications Michael Wagman said. Once completed, however, he indicated that, because of student privacy constraints, the district would not offer further comment on the situation nor would it be likely to discuss the evaluation results.

Both superintendents, in the joint statement, expressed satisfaction that the districts had worked together quickly to address the situation. “The collaboration by our school resource officers moved this situation from speculation to conclusion quickly and efficiently,” Sparagana said. “All appropriate actions are being taken to ensure the safety and well-being of Pottstown and Pottsgrove students and staff,” Feola added.

Police sources also praised the alert Pottstown student who, they said, acted as anyone might of hoped by promptly contacting school officials and helping to avert problems.

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