Juvenile charged in connection with Middletown HS North threat

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A juvenile has been charged with making terroristic threats in connection with a threat made against Middletown High School North in Monmouth County, authorities said Thursday.

Concerns were raised Wednesday over a Snapchat post in which some interpreted as a threat that 38 people would be shot Thursday at the high school.

Classes carried on as normal Thursday after school officials said that in conjunction with the police, they investigated and found the threat to be not credible.

Detective Lt. Paul Bailey, of the Middletown Police Department, put out the following statement Wednesday night:

"Today (Wednesday) the district learned of a reported threat to Middletown H.S. North on social media. The Middletown police in collaboration with district administrators and the district supervisor of security conducted a thorough investigation and have verified that there is no threat to students, staff or the school community. There is much misinformation being circulated causing unwarranted fear in the school community. We would like to reassure everyone that there is absolutely no threat to our students or staff, and all schools will be in session tomorrow (Thursday)."

In a new statement released Thursday afternoon, the police department confirmed the charges filed against the juvenile, adding that no firearms or bullets were located.

“We would also like to reassure the community that an extensive search was conducted, and we are confident that the individual does not possess or have access to any firearms or ammunition, despite any videos or images that may have been posted,” the statement read in part.

Authorities also added that there were no other suspects or persons of interest involved in the incident.

Extra police patrols were positioned Thursday around the high school and in the area to help alleviate any lingering concerns.

Still, some parents still voiced concerns in a Middletown Facebook group, saying they weren’t satisfied with officials’ response and believed classes should have been canceled.

“I'm not sure many parents slept last night. We all talked. There's a lot of rumors. We had no information. It took so long for them to issue a statement,” one parent told News 12 New Jersey. 

Middletown School District Superintendent Bill George said residents should never let rumors get out of control.

"I think as a school district, we try to come with one voice, come with the facts and truth (by) working with the community and police department. And they really should let the one voice of truth speak,” George said.

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