Reports of violence at Bellefonte Area High School were ‘hoax,’ chief says

Reports of a possible shooting at Bellefonte Area High School were not credible, borough police Chief Shawn Weaver and Bellefonte Area School District Superintendent Michelle Saylor said Tuesday.

“It was thoroughly investigated. There was no threat to anyone in the school or the building itself,” Weaver said. “At no point in time throughout the original investigation was there a mention of a gun by anyone.”

The reported threat of violence was a “hoax,” though the department will continue to investigate the report, Weaver said. The report was sent to the district and social reporting systems, including the state attorney general’s Safe2Say hotline, Saylor said.

“The district takes each tip seriously. To date, there is no credible evidence. However, we will continue to monitor the situation,” Saylor said in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who utilized the safety support systems as designed. The safety of our students is always our top priority.”

The Safe2Say program — designed to help students and staff recognize warning signs of individuals who may be a threat — is mandated by state law and went into effect in January.

Police announced the investigation about 1 a.m. Tuesday in a Facebook post. The social media posts were alarming and raised concern, but were “aggressively” investigated, police wrote.

A message from Saylor about the reports and investigation was sent to students’ guardians Tuesday.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.