In a climate where all threats of violence at schools are being taken seriously, hoaxes have started to spring up on social media.
One of those hoaxes hit an area school district on Thursday.
State police at Huntingdon were alerted by a Southern Huntingdon High School student Thursday evening to an alleged threat originating on Facebook.
The post referenced “SHS school” and “bringing a gun to school.”
After an investigation, police deemed the threat was not credible and that the school and students were not at risk.
The “SHS school” threat has been circulating online and affecting schools with the “SHS” acronym across the country, from Pennsylvania to Bellingham, Washington.
A 16-year-old student at Springfield High School in Ohio was arrested Thursday in connection with the viral post, according to the Dayton Daily News.
In response to the alleged threat, Southern Huntingdon High School in Three Springs, Huntingdon County, did not close Friday, but did have a police presence to help “educate” the students, according to a message posted on the school district’s Facebook page.
Alleged threats have affected schools across the state, as all schools in the Harrisburg School district, Central York District and the Dauphin County Technical School were closed Friday due to posts circulating on social media regarding potential school shootings. Those cases are all under investigation.
Despite the prevalence of hoaxes, state police encourage the public to be vigilant and continue to report any school threats to law enforcement, according to a release. Any threat, whether posted on social media, spoken or otherwise, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, police said.