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Students evacuated from 2 Armstrong schools after threatening voicemails

October 31, 2018 GMT

The Armstrong School District evacuated students from two elementary schools Wednesday morning after it received a bomb threat.

State police said a juvenile left three threatening messages with the district after school hours Tuesday. Office staff heard the messages when they arrived Wednesday morning.

Police did not identify the suspect, but said he will face charges in Armstrong County Juvenile Court.

Students from West Hills Primary and West Hills Intermediate schools, which are on the same campus in East Franklin, were taken to Armstrong High School in Manor Township before the start of classes, according to the district and state police.

“All students are safe,” the district said in a statement distributed by state police.

State police and explosives-detecting dogs from the state police and Pittsburgh police searched the schools.

Nothing was found.

Parents and emergency contacts were able to pick up students at the high school, the district said.

“If students cannot be picked up they will have a modified school day at Armstrong High School and will be bused home at the regular departure time,” the district said.

Superintendent Chris DeVivo said shortly before 11 a.m. that parents were continuing to pick up their children. He said that would be continuing through the day. He did not know how many had been picked up as of that time or how many would remain at the high school.

The two schools house about 1,400 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, with K-3 at the primary school and grades 4-6 at the intermediate school.

School board President Christopher Choncek commended the district administration for “acting swiftly and responding quickly to the threat as soon as it was known.”

“They put their process into play and are working through the process so we make sure everyone is safe and we’re confident things were taken care of in a proper manner,” he said.