UPDATED: Online Gun Threats, ‘Rumors’ Close Jersey Shore School District

An online threat and comments on social media prompted a school district on the Jersey Shore to cancel in-person classes Friday, 

But the threat of a gun, and subsequent rumors on the internet turned out to be unfounded, Manchester Township police said in a statement Friday.

“In order to quell any further public alarm, the Manchester Police Department wanted to inform the community that yesterday we were made aware of numerous rumors, originating at the Manchester Township High School, in reference to a potentially violent event involving a gun taking place today at the High School.” 

Due to the cooperation of several students and their families, “it was determined that the rumors were in fact, rumors which were deemed through the investigation to be not credible,” Manchester police wrote.

On Thursday night Manchester Superintendent David Trethaway wrote on the school district website“The police investigated a student who made a comment on social media regarding a weapon. That issue was investigated and determined to be not credible,”

“However, unfortunately, tonight there have been additional statements made on social media involving other individuals claiming to have knowledge of a possible threat at the high school.” 

Police are investigating every statement to determine if they are “based on a known fact or again are just more rumors,” Trethaway said. 

None of the district’s six schools have received a direct threat, he said.

“I apologize for the inconvenience but since all statements and individuals cannot be fully investigated by the police at this time, we must take every step to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff and every statement must be taken seriously and investigated by the police,” Treathway wrote.

Manchester police, in their statement, added: “We want to reiterate once again, that all information received was fully investigated and there is no credible threat of violence towards any persons or the school community. We always take any kind of threat against our schools seriously and the safety of our community is our primary goal. We will remain vigilant with safety measures to ensure safe learning can continue throughout the district.”

On Tuesday, a Howell High School student was arrested after posting a threatening comment on Snapchat with a photo of a weapon, which police later determined to be an Airsoft rifle. The student was suspended. 

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