Harriton Student Makes Threat Using Snapchat – District Says The Student Will Not Be In School Until Police & School Investigation Concludes

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A student sent a message to a friend using Snapchat that warned them that they would use a gun to commit a violent act at Harriton High School on Wednesday. Lower Merion Superintendent Copeland said that the student would not be allowed to attend school on Wednesday and that police are investigating. The student who sent the message claims that it was a joke.

On Tuesday, March 14th, a Harriton student sent a photo to one of his friends with the caption “Don’t come to school tomorrow.” The text was followed by 3 gun emoji’s. The photograph, included with the caption, showed the student’s face with his middle finger sticking out towards the camera. The student who received the photograph took a screenshot of it, as most snapchats disappear after a few seconds, and shared it with this friends. Along the way, students added captions that warned students that Harriton may not be safe on Wednesday. These images were widely circulated among students Tuesday evening. Students reacted with concern that Harriton may not be safe Wednesday, with some saying they would not attend out of fear. A number of students who received the image alerted the Harriton Administration and the Lower Merion Police.

Harriton Administrators have confirmed that they are aware and that the LMPD is investigating. Superintendent Copeland sent an email out to all parents that read in part “Earlier this evening we were advised of a threatening message posted by a student on Snapchat about committing a violent act at school.” It went on to read “While the investigation is still ongoing, the police have advised us that the situation does not pose an imminent threat to the safety of students. Along with law enforcement, we have addressed the Harriton student who posted the message and that individual will not be permitted to attend school until resolution of the investigation and any disciplinary actions.”

In an email, Harriton Vice Principal Mrs. Marcuson encouraged students to attend school Wednesday.

The student wrote in a follow up snapchat that “Uh that got blown way out of proportion. Just a joke. Not funny my bad.”

RickyReports.TV has decided to withhold the name of the student as they are a minor.

The email sent by Superintendent Copeland also read “Please know that we take these matters extremely seriously and have no tolerance for violent threats of any kind. Student safety is always our top priority. Moving forward, this situation will continue to be addressed in accordance with school district policy and in consultation with the authorities. This incident also serves as an important reminder about the appropriate use of social media. It is essential that students have clear parameters about social media use and a full understanding of the implications of their words.”

Superintendent Copeland also thanked students and families for quickly reporting the situation to the police.

The full text of the email sent by Superintendent Copeland can be found below.

“Dear Harriton and Lower Merion Families, “Earlier this evening we were advised of a threatening message posted by a student on Snapchat about committing a violent act at school.” Upon receiving this information, we immediately notified local law enforcement and they have been directly handling the matter. While the investigation is still ongoing, the police have advised us that the situation does not pose an imminent threat to the safety of students. Along with law enforcement, we have addressed the Harriton student who posted the message and that individual will not be permitted to attend school until resolution of the investigation and any disciplinary actions. Please know that we take these matters extremely seriously and have no tolerance for violent threats of any kind. Student safety is always our top priority. Moving forward, this situation will continue to be addressed in accordance with school district policy and in consultation with the authorities. This incident also serves as an important reminder about the appropriate use of social media. It is essential that students have clear parameters about social media use and a full understanding of the implications of their words. Finally, we would like to express our appreciation for how quickly the matter was reported by students and families in the District. We are grateful for your continued support in helping to ensure the safety of our school community. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Principal Scott Weinstein at Harriton at (610) 658-4950 or Principal Sean Hughes at Lower Merion at (610) 645-1819. Sincerely, Robert Copeland Superintendent.”

Ricky Sayer is a senior at Harriton High School. He will be attending Syracuse University in the fall. RickyReports.TV is in no way affiliated with Harriton High School or Lower Merion School District

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