A threat of gun violence forced Palmerton Area School District to cancel all home after-school activities on Friday.
Contacted Friday afternoon, Superintendent Carol Boyce told the TIMES NEWS the threat is what prompted the district to cancel last evening's high school boys basketball contest with Pen Argyl.
The game was moved to Pen Argyl this morning, with the jayvee contest starting at 10 a.m. The home game will be played against Pen Argyl later in the season.
"During this entire past week, schools all over the country have been unfortunately subjected to a lot of chatter about violence and threats and that kind of thing," Boyce said. "Yesterday, [Thursday] there was some regional threat in this area, chatter going on, and due to last week's event (elementary school shooting in Connecticut), our awareness has been very much heightened."
Specifically, Boyce added "this [Friday] morning, we got a report specifically relative to Palmerton; therefore, immediately, we implemented our safety plan and protocols, and did an investigation."
Boyce said the district "involved the state police, because this campus is under their jurisdiction; they came in and advised through this process."
A talent show at the high school was held yesterday morning, but, Boyce said, "We tried to keep the talent as light as possible for the kids and continue under a controlled environment."
"Unfortunately, we were not able to allow any members of the public to come in and view it," she said. "We did put in an 'Alert Now,' shortly after 8:30 a.m., saying that it was going to be closed to the public, and held for the students only."
Boyce added "We're sorry for any inconveniences, but safety and safety protocol must come first. Kids health and safety is far too important to put in jeopardy."
As a follow-up, Boyce said the district "did determine that any activities that were going to be held here were going to be postponed."
More information will be forthcoming, Boyce said.
"We apologize for any inconvenience, but given the tenderness that will be with us for a long, long time, our security has to change," she said. "We want to keep our youngsters safe, our children safe."
Boyce said the high school girls basketball contest at Pen Argyl last evening was scheduled to take place.