Essex County News

Social Media Rumors of Violence at Columbia H.S. on Thursday Investigated: 'No Credible Threat' Found

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Columbia High School Credits: Columbia High School - file photo
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MAPLEWOOD, NJ - With rumors on social media of a threat to "blow up" or "shoot up" Columbia High School (CHS) on Thursday, the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD) sent an email to the CHS community at about 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday stating that the social media rumor has been investigated and there is "no credible threat."

According to the email, the Maplewood Police Department determined that there is no credible threat, and that school could take place tomorrow as usual at CHS.

At Wednesday night's 9th Grade Parent/Guardian Info Night at CHS, Principal Elizabeth Aaron addressed the rumors, sharing that they have been working with both South Orange and Maplewood police since about 4:40 p.m. when they first became aware of the situation.

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Aaron thanked parents and students for reaching out to her, other staff, and the police as soon as they heard something, and reminded all that this is the correct way for students and families to react, adding that students should always inform school administrators, "these aren't things teenagers should figure out on their own."

The full email from the school district is below:

Dear CHS Community:

Posts circulated on social media this evening, warning CHS students “no one come to school tomorrow” because of rumors of possible threats of violence.

These threats were reported to CHS Administrators, who immediately notified the Maplewood and South Orange Police Departments and SOMSD’s crisis team, who worked together to investigate the rumor.  The Maplewood Police Department determined that there is no credible threat, and advised SOMSD that school could take place tomorrow on the normal schedule.

The Police Department will have an increased presence outside the school tomorrow, and CHS will have increased security in the building, as precautionary measures. 

As always, student safety remains a top priority in our district.  We are grateful to the families who reported the rumors so that they could be investigated so quickly, and to the Maplewood and South Orange Police Departments for their quick response and assistance. 

South Orange Maplewood School District

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