Police on alert following Upper Darby High School threats

UPPER DARBY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- At first, it just seemed like teens spreading rumors.

"It really turned out to be that social media went out of control," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

After school security called for a lockdown on Thursday at Upper Darby High School, Chitwood said there was a lot of talk among the students but no real threat.

That was until a parent approached police Thursday night with a disturbing text message that his son had received from a former student.

"That basically at 9:45 today he was going to go to the main entrance of Upper Darby High School and shoot up the school," said Chitwood.

The threat was enough for the school district and Upper Darby police to increase security measures on Friday. Extra officers came to the school with some of them standing at the front entrance.

"At least seven offices are up there now," Chitwood said Friday morning. "Three or four in uniform and another three or four in plainclothes."

Some students saw those officers as they came to school with the threat fresh in their minds.

"It is a little scary," said senior Siani Barnes. "But the only thing we can do is go through the day and trust that our police will do their job."

Chitwood said the extra security is out of an abundance of caution.

"Any and all threats are taken seriously," Chitwood said.

Parents like Alexandra Quiles appreciate the precautions.

"(Upper Darby School District) keeps us updated and lets us know that everything is OK," Quiles said.

Unfortunately, threats have become an all-too-common reality for today's students.

"Honestly, it's feeling like a normal thing," said senior Kaylen Snedeker. "It's hard to be actually scared because it just feels like it's normal now."

The school operated on a normal schedule Friday, with police saying they'll continue to investigate any threats.
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