'A cry for help': Public safety officials, mental health experts weigh in on school threats

There has been a rise in threats made to schools, recently and it’s something that school districts and police say they take very seriously.

Cheltenham police say they thoroughly investigated a school threat much like they would any threat against the township or school and determined it was not credible. A scenario playing out in districts across the Delaware Valley, adding to stress students and parents face daily.

"It’s a really sad situation that this is happening in our schools because that’s the safe haven," parent Omar Johnson remarked.


Licensed psychologist Dr. Valerie Braunstein contributed, "We know there is a mental health crisis for teens right now and children."

Dr. Braunstein says the threats are not new, but are likely a result of mental health issues exacerbated because of the pandemic.

"I think it’s  a call for help," Dr. Braunstein stated. "We want to listen to the call and take it very seriously and just recognize that people are struggling and need a lot more support than they’re getting."

"There’s that constant on with social media. There’s no break involved," Easton Area School District Director of Safe Schools John Remaley said.

Remaley says he sees social media as the driving force, not just giving kids ideas, but as an outlet to voice their feelings. And, officials will look into whatever pops up.

"You’re going to take every threat as a priority to do what you can to vet out the situation," Remaley explained. "I’d rather you criticize me for overacting than, ‘Why didn’t we act strongly enough,’ and something was allowed to happen."



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