A 15-year-old boy from Hellertown is charged with one third-degree felony count of making terroristic threats after borough police say he allegedly made threats while talking about Saucon Valley High School–where he is reportedly a tenth grade student–while pointing a rifle at the camera in a video shared on Snapchat.
Snapchat is a social media app popular with many teens.
In a news release issued Wednesday, police said that although the threats came to light this week “the actual video posted on Snapchat was filmed several months ago.” Authorities emphasized that “the juvenile did not have the weapon in his possession” when he was taken into custody.
Police did not explain how the video was discovered, but said that following an investigation the rifle the student allegedly displayed in it was seized.
The boy has been placed in juvenile detention, they added.
“I am confident the school environment is safe today and moving forward,” Butler said in an email statement to parents, who also received an automated phone call about the incident Tuesday morning. “We followed protocol/procedure with regard to this incident and will take every precaution to secure the safety of our students and staff.”
Lower Saucon Township Police also responded to the school in the wake of the alleged threat, Butler said, and parents reported seeing an increased police presence around the district campus Tuesday morning.
“Given the information we had, and the fashion in which we received that information, we made the best decisions possible and in a timely manner,” Butler said Wednesday, after the news release was issued. “I did not feel at any time that the safety of students and staff was jeopardized.”