Police: West York HS student made online school threats as 'joke'

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
West York Area High School in West Manchester Township, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert

A 17-year-old West York Area High School student is being charged with making terroristic threats for posting threats online about the high school as well as West York Area Middle School, police said.

About 10:15 a.m. April 1, the West Manchester Township Police's school resource officer assigned to the two schools learned of a social media post threatening an act of violence, according to township police.

The threat did not specify which school district building was the target of the threat, police said.

Students at both the high school and middle school were released for the day shortly after the threatening post was reported, according to police.

Before the end of the school day, the school resource officer identified the 17-year-old as the person who made the threat, police said.

"The suspect admitted his involvement and characterized the social media post as a joke," police wrote in a news release.

Charges being filed: The teen will face three counts of making terroristic threats, which is a misdemeanor, in juvenile court, according to police.

State law prohibits police from releasing the names of minors charged with crimes as juveniles, except in cases of certain serious felonies.

Investigators continue to examine the teen's electronic devices, according to police, who said the West York Area School District will undertake a "parallel investigation," then take "appropriate administrative action as well."

Assisting West Manchester Township Police and the school district were West York Borough Police, the York County Sheriff's Office and the York County District Attorney's Office, township police said.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call township police at 717-792-9514.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.