Police investigate ‘viral’ video, increase presence at Hempfield High School after potential social media threat | Local News


Police are investigating a potential threat toward Hempfield High School on social media and the video where the threat originated.

Hempfield School District said it was made aware Monday evening of a “concerning” video with a student’s behavior in a classroom as well as “concerning comments” including a potential threat to the high school. 

The potential threat resulted in police presence Tuesday at the high school at the request of district officials, East Hempfield Township police Lt. Tammy Marsh said Monday.

“Given the measures put in place by the district, working in conjunction with the police, we do not believe that students or staff are in danger,” spokeswoman Shannon Zimmerman said in an email Tuesday.

The potential threat was “extremely vague,” but authorities are taking it seriously and thoroughly investigating, Marsh said.

“I would caution use of the word ‘threat,’ but nonetheless we won’t take any chances,” Marsh said late Monday. “Right now it looks like bantering back and forth between several people and we’re working to ID those persons. At this point, we don’t know if they’re from the Hempfield area or even from the county.”

The district declined to comment on the student or students involved.

“This is an ongoing investigation. Upon its conclusion, the district will take the necessary and appropriate actions. In accordance with school policy, any student disciplinary action taken is confidential,” Zimmerman said.

Marsh said Tuesday that police are investigating both the potential threat and the video where the threatening comments were made.

“This thing went viral, and, as social media often does, it spirals from there,” she said.

Police will investigate and announce if there is anything that warrants criminal charges, she said.

“We do believe that (students) are safe, and that’s our primary concern,” Marsh said.

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