Baltimore-area schools respond to continuing threats in wake of Florida shooting

Baltimore-area school systems sent out community alerts about social media threats Monday morning, continuing a trend that area police departments have seen in the past couple of weeks.

Ever since the mass shooting at a Florida high school on Feb. 14, law enforcement agencies across the Baltimore region said they’ve seen an uptick in threats against schools.

While those threats have been unfounded, many families in the area are on edge and police have increased their presence at some schools.

On Monday morning, Northeast High School in Pasadena opened on time, despite a threat made on social media to shoot African-American students during one of the school lunch periods.

Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman, said the system consulted with police early Monday about opening the school but police did not tell them to close.

The threat, which apparently originated on Snapchat, said students should be prepared to be shot down 10 minutes after the bell, and, using racist language, specified that the shooter would be targeting African-American students.

Anne Arundel County police posted about several social media threats against school that were posted over the weekend, asking parents to remind their children that making threatening posts is not a joke.

A Snapchat threat was also made against Havre de Grace High School, the principal wrote on Twitter Monday morning. Police are investigating the message, which contained “threatening language” toward the school community.

“The School Resource Officer is actively investigating the threat with the HdGHS administrators,” Havre de Grace police tweeted.

In Howard County, Marriotts Ridge High School principal Tammy Goldeisen sent out a community alert Monday regarding a concerning social media post. She said rumors circulating about a student threatening to “shoot up” the school were unsubstantiated.

“When the post was investigated, it was determined that there wasn’t a threat to other students or to the school,” spokesman Brian Bassett said.

On the day after the Parkland shooting, a student was arrested at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County after allegedly bringing a pellet gun to school in a backpack, prompting a lockdown and a large police response.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Rachael Pacella contributed to this article.

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