Rumors prompt empty schools in Bethlehem

February 29, 2008 10:56:29 AM PST
High schools in the Bethlehem Area School District are nearly empty because of rumors of a potential student uprising. The rumors of possible violence on Feb. 29 - or "229" as students have been calling it - have been building for weeks.

School buses at Liberty High School in Bethlehem and Freedom High School in Bethlehem Township arrived Friday morning with only one or two students aboard.

Other high schools in the Lehigh Valley also report lower attendance. School officials have beefed up security but said there have been no problems.

The rumors about Feb. 29 started in late December when police arrested two kids for spray-painting "229" along a walking trail. Officials then began seeing the numbers written on backpacks and carved into desks. The numbers are believed to refer to an anti-government, anti-capitalist and anti-war group called 229 Brigade.


Information from: The Morning Call,