Spring-Ford officials: 9th Grade Center threats unfounded

ROYERSFORD — Rumors of a possible threat for violence at Spring-Ford Area High School’s 9th Grade Center that began circulating last weekend proved to be unfounded, according to district and police officials.

Sources said one of the rumors involved threats specifically tied to guns but a joint effort by the Spring-Ford Area School District’s administration, the Upper Providence Police and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office determined that the threats were unfounded.

Superintendent David Goodin told The Mercury Thursday that the rumors stemmed from an “offhand comment” one student made to another.

“We pretty much know how it started,” he said.

In a letter Goodin sent home to Spring-Ford parents Thursday, he wrote, in bold and underlined, that the district and the police “have not discovered any specific threat or weapons.”

Mark Freeman, of the Upper Providence Police, told The Mercury Thursday that they’ve “tracked down everybody involved as far as anyone who spoke about the rumor (and) tracked down the individuals (involved).”

Letters sent home Monday and Wednesday by the 9th Grade Center’s principal, Theresa M. Weidenbaugh, and the ninth grade house principal, Douglas K. Reigner, said administration at the school were contacted by the Upper Providence Police about the rumor and began investigating over the weekend.

“Whenever we learn about a rumor involving student safety, it is not taken lightly,” the letter sent home Monday stated.

According to the Wednesday letter, the Upper Providence Police were asked to periodically visit the school, something which will likely continue, according to Goodin’s letter Thursday.

Additionally, Goodin, the 9th Grade Center’s administration and Upper Providence Police met with the ninth grade class in an assembly Thursday morning to assuage any fears or doubts remaining about the rumors.

Although it appears that this threat was just an inflated rumor, Goodin said officials can’t necessarily rest easily.

“I think we always have a concern. That concern doesn’t go away,” he said. “This is part of our culture.”

Goodin attributed the quick spread of the rumor to social media but said he understood why people were worried.

“I get it. Parents have a reason to be concerned,” when things like this come up, Goodin said.