Police & Fire

Berkeley Heights School Placed on Lock Down Following False Social Media Threat

A screenshot of the Snapchat message that caused Columbia Middle School to go on lockdown early Friday morning. Credits: Alyssa Sisk

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston High School and Columbia Middle School went into shelter in place following a false report of a threat Friday morning.

Superintendent of schools Judy Rattner confirmed that the threat involved a school district in New Mexico and the Berkeley Heights school district is safe. "The student that initiated the threat is currently in custody and all of our students are safe," said Rattner. 

She reminded the parents, "please, in order to secure and provide safe schools for all of our students, if you see something or hear something of concern, please make sure to report it immediately so that we can continue to maintain the safety of our buildings." 

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A police officer stationed at Columbia Middle School did not confirm the threat, however, the officer confirmed the students are safe.  

Following an investigation, officials determined the posts were related to Belen High School (BHS) in New Mexico, according to multiple Facebook posts. The threat originated from a sophomore who attends Belen High School. 

The message was originally posted to the social media site on Thursday night, and said: "Attention all bhs students prepare to see my wrath tomorrow. Hahaha you all ****** up. I'm going to be the next to go down in history you SCUMS (sic) **** You BHS. I dare you to go to school tm (sic). I want to see how many people I will take with me. Screenshot and spread the word. As you guys made fun of me and laugh at me now its my turn for revenge and its finally here. Beware my ak15 will be in my duffle bag and will happen when you least expect it. why can't things be ******* peaceful. wtf. careful and watch your back."

According to News-Bulletin.com, a newspaper serving Valencia County, New Mexico since 1910, local police in Los Lunas, New Mexico, where Belen High School is located, identified the 16 year old student on Thursday night. 

This is the latest of several lockdown incidents in New Jersey since 17 students and faculty were killed at a Parkland, Florida high school last Wednesday. Students at Nutley and Matawan High Schools have also been placed on lockdown but threats against those schools were proven to be unfounded.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights will provide further information upon receipt of statement by the Berkeley Heights Police Department.

Related article: Berkeley Heights Police Department Responds to Possible School Threat Incident

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