Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Threat prompts extra school security

by HEATHER ROTH on May 16, 2013 11:00 AM

A “low-grade” threat scrawled in a bathroom at Indiana Area Senior High School has sparked extra security measures for the school’s prom on Friday.

District Superintendent Dale Kirsch said at Monday’s school board meeting that someone left a bomb threat in connection to the prom in a graffiti message that was discovered May 3. He said district officials and state police are investigating, reviewing surveillance video recordings from cameras outside the restroom and “taking necessary precautions.”

“It is a low-grade threat but we are taking it seriously,” Kirsch said Monday.

State police issued a press release stating only that they are investigating the incident, but released no further details.

Kirsch said Monday that announcements have been made at the school, and an automated call Wednesday informed parents that due to the threat, there will be a state police presence Friday and increased screenings for visitors.

According to a notice on the high school website, anyone entering the high school Friday must enter through the upper common doors nearest the main office and is subject to screening.

Anyone attending the prom Grand March will enter through the new gymnasium doors, bags will be tagged and secured by parent chaperones, and students are subject to screening. Anyone leaving the building must re-enter through the designated entrance and is again subject to screening.

After the Grand March, students will be bused to Chestnut Ridge Country Club and, again, everyone is subject to screening.Chaperones and security guards will be at exit doors and in hallways.

Neither Kirsch nor Indiana High School Principal Wade McElheny could not be reached for comment this morning.

Staff writer Chauncey Ross contributed to this report.

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