'Extremely frustrated': Threats made against Coatesville High School lead to continued school closures

A threat made against Coatesville High School prompted another closure, making it the latest incident in an ongoing problem frustrating school leaders. 

Threats against the school have happened several times in the month of October. A threat of a school shooting led to the closure district schools on October 7. Threats continued and the high school was closed one week later on October 14. Days later, the high school was closed again on October 17 following a bomb threat. 

School officials say the latest threat occurred Thursday just before 7 a.m. when a tip was received over the Safe2Say line, indicating a school shooting would happen around 7:10 a.m. School District leaders say they consulted with police, re-routed buses home and sent students who were already at school home for the day. A second Safe2Say tip came in after 7 a.m., indicating a shooting would occur between 7:10 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

"We are extremely frustrated by these continued disruptions and have requested a meeting with the PA Attorney General and the administrators of the statewide anonymous Safe2Say tip line (which is mandated for each school district) to address this troubling situation," Interim Superintendent Dr. Richard F. Dunlap Jr. wrote in a letter to parents. "Safety must be our priority and we simply cannot ‘hope' that these are false threats. Each one must be investigated and taken seriously. At the same time, we are actively seeking outside support as this situation has become intolerable." 

Last week, the Chester County District Attorney announced the arrest of a 17-year-old student responsible for several threats against the school and officials say anyone found making threats may face criminal charges. 

As a result of the closings, the district is extending the first marking period by three days to November 3. 

School is scheduled to reopen on Friday with additional police presence in place, officials say. 

"Again, we share in your extreme frustration about this situation. Unfortunately, schools nationwide have seen an increase in threats and even locally, many schools have faced closures as a result of threats," Dunlap said. "We will continue to work diligently to address this."