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'Non-specific threat' forces evacuation of schools

| Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005

A "non-specific threat" Monday resulted in an evacuation and early dismissal at the high school and junior high.

Superintendent John Meighan told school directors Monday night that the threat was treated cautiously by the administration.

"There was no danger, but you always err on the side of caution," Meighan said.

Meighan did not disclose how the threat was received, but did say it was aimed specifically at the high school.

Immediately following receipt of the threat, Allegheny Township police were called. Meighan said the high school campus was evacuated and thoroughly searched with bomb-sniffing canines.

"I know (today) we are fine," Meighan said.

Meighan said he could not give any more specifics about the incident.

"The matter is still being investigated by local and county police, so we are not releasing many details to the public," Meighan said.

Police were summoned to the high school at about 2:10 p.m.

Because the threat occurred later in the school day, Meighan told directors a letter would be sent home to all parents today telling them about the incident.

"Even the letter going home to parents will not have much information in it, to allow the police time to fully investigate it," Meighan said.

Meighan said junior high students were released early as well because they are on the same campus and buses carry both junior and senior high students on the same schedule.

In other business:

  • Directors and the administration are working on adopting a policy to deal with home-schooled students participating in extracurricular activities.

    Officials said the new policy is in response to a law that was recently signed by Gov. Ed Rendell that requires school districts to allow home-schooled students to participate.

    "There are a lot of details to be worked out," Meighan said. "Things like accountability and student requirements all have to be taken into account."

    While the new law takes effect Jan. 1, Meighan said the policy would not come into play until spring sports practice begins in February or March.

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