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School shooting threat prompts large police response, sends Chester Academy students home early

A social media post that appears to be from a young teen being bullied prompted a multi-agency police response in Chester Wednesday and sent hundreds of Chester Academy students home early.

News 12 Staff

Mar 8, 2023, 5:38 PM

Updated 449 days ago

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A social media post that appears to be from a young teen being bullied prompted a multi-agency police response in Chester Wednesday and sent hundreds of Chester Academy students home early.
News 12 obtained a screengrab of the threat from someone who claims to be “tired” of being bullied and wrote about plans to hurt people and himself. 
District Superintendent Catherine O’Hara said the post was shared on a group chat and that it’s not clear if it came from a Chester Academy student. 
Classes were canceled by midday as a precaution. 
News 12 arrived at dismissal and saw parents picking up their students early, as they were released one at a time. Kids were told to leave their backpacks behind while police were inside the building investigating.
“We’ve been here since elementary school and lately the bullying is getting worse," said Dina Astras. 
Parents and students said they hope anyone being bullied can get help. 
“Nowadays kids are really mean. They don’t hold back,” said one student. 
Chester administration say there’s no tolerance for bullying of any kind. 
"If we are advocating for no bullying then that’s setting the bar pretty low," said O'Hara. "That’s something that happens repeatedly over time, so we make every effort to connect with our students and on the first offense, we act on.” 
The district says no weapons were found in the school and that it will be open Thursday as usual with extra police on hand as a precaution. 
A Chester teacher reached out to News 12 saying the district didn’t properly notify staff about what was going on during the early dismissal. 
The district though says the school’s emergency protocols went “flawlessly” today with the involvement and help of teachers, staff, law enforcement, students and their parents. 


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