The bomb threat to which Great Valley parents were alerted last week had a target date of Wednesday, Jan. 16, according to district superintendent Alan Lonoconus.
The school district first became aware of the bomb threat against the high school Friday morning. In an email sent to parents Wednesday afternoon, Lonoconus disclosed the date along with an update on precautions taken in accordance with the district's Safety Plan.
The Chester County Sheriff's Office used dogs to sweep the school over the weekend and on at least one other occasion, and the searches came up empty, according to the superintendent's email.
Details of the threat were not made public. The East Whiteland Police Department investigated and concluded it did not warrant concern or changes in the high school's normal schedule.
The superintendent's letter sent to parents Wednesday is below:
This message again intends to update you on the bomb threat that was discovered at Great Valley High School last week. As I said in my previous correspondence, our students’ safety is always our number one priority. For that reason, and because of the ongoing investigation, the information I was able to share was very limited. However, I can now share some additional details with you.
The bomb threat that we discovered on Friday was one that was dated to occur today, Wednesday, January 16. Prior to today, the Sheriff’s Department conducted more than one sweep of the high school and found no evidence of any kind of bomb device. This morning, East Whiteland police were present and visible in the high school as an additional precaution. They continue to label this incident as one that does not warrant concern and strongly recommend that we follow a normal schedule. We appreciate the collaboration with our law enforcement officers and will continue to rely on their expertise in situations like this.
The District does have a comprehensive Safety Plan to which we refer when incidents like this arise. We take every threat seriously and share information with you in as timely a manner as possible. I have appreciated your understanding and cooperation. I also encourage you to continue to partner with the school district in keeping our schools safe. As you keep an eye on your children, I encourage you to know their circle of friends and be familiar with their daily routine. If you notice any suspicious or “out of the ordinary” behavior, I encourage you to talk with your child and, if needed, to seek help. The recent event in Sandy Hook and the subsequent media attention to school violence have raised our sensitivity to these issues to a higher level. Moving forward, we will be looking at some possible enhancements to our Safety Plan. While some may cause minor inconveniences, any decisions we make will be made with the safety of our students in mind. As we work together to educate and protect our students, I encourage you to always consider your school a partner in your child’s best interests.
Alan J. Lonoconus
Superintendent of Schools