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Letter details safety concern

Published October 22. 2013 05:00PM

Jim Thorpe Area School District officials want parents to know they are taking all tips of possible safety threats seriously.

On Monday, officials at L.B. Morris Elementary School executed spot checks of students' belongings after receiving a tip from a community member about a "possible safety concern."

According to Dr. Barbara Conway, superintendent of the Jim Thorpe Area School District, the report turned out to be unfounded but other things not allowed in the school were found. Disciplinary action was taken according to the school's policy and the investigation was turned over to Jim Thorpe police for further review.

"We're trying to be proactive," Conway said, urging anyone who may hear anything regarding possibly safety threats to students to contact the school administration immediately and it will be investigated.

She added that she cannot go into further detail on Monday's event because it could compromise the situation.

Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joseph Schatz confirmed that something happened at the school and the police are investigating, but no other details were available.

Parents of the students received a letter from Holly Mordaunt, L.B. Morris principal, that was sent home with the children, alerting them about the possibly safety concern, but many felt it was vague in nature.

One parent, who asked not to be named to protect her child's identity, said her child came home in a weird mood and was confused by the whole situation because the students didn't know why it was happening.

The letter parents received read: "We want to continue working in partnership with parents to provide open communication and ensure the safety of all students. After being alerted to the possibility of safety concerns of an issue that might compromise student safety, the administration took immediate action. The police department was notified, and we acted promptly to ensure the safety of all students attending the Lawrence B. Morris.

"Initial reports were unfounded. Contraband was discovered, and the policies and procedures of the Jim Thorpe Area School District were followed. Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority to the Jim Thorpe Area School District. We take these incidents very seriously.

"As parents, you can help. Please take this opportunity to speak to your children about the importance of school safety. While peer pressure is great at this age, we want to encourage students to feel comfortable reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others. Working together we can maintain an environment where students and staff focus on learning.

"As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns."

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