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Mount Olive community on edge over credible threat leveled at high school students

An alert about the threat was issued around 10 a.m. It sent parents into panic mode.

Matt Trapani and Chris Keating

Apr 19, 2023, 4:27 PM

Updated 451 days ago

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Law enforcement officials in Mount Olive are investigating a threat that was leveled at students at the town’s high school that put every school in the district into lockdown mode.
Police say that an SUV was stolen in Roxbury and that someone in that SUV "expressed an intent to go to Mount Olive High School to harm students." Police found that vehicle driving more than 100 miles away from Mount Olive in the area of Exit 64 on the Garden State Parkway. They say that an 18-year-old and 17-year-old were arrested without incident.
Parents tell News 12 New Jersey that it was a 17-year-old from Mount Olive High School who posted the threat online along with a photo of himself posing with a gun. This has yet to be confirmed by the police.
School officials sent a message to parents stating, “[The Mount Olive Police Department] is investigating the credibility of the threat and will remain on-site for the duration of the school day at each building."
An alert about the threat was issued around 10 a.m. It sent parents into panic mode and had them speeding over to the high school to pick up their children.
While every school in the district was told to shelter in place, only Mount Olive High School had multiple police officers blocking the entrance.
Parents lined up in cars across the street waiting for police permission to drive to the entrance and take their children home. Those parents then lined up at the front door to retrieve their children.
Parent David Olsen left work as soon as he heard. He says that the alert was upsetting considering recent school shootings across the country.
"This is hitting home now right…I'm flying with all of those crazy thoughts going through my head. Right and just praying everything is OK,” Olsen says.
"Hopefully my kids are good inside and they're obviously not letting anyone go inside so it might be the safest place. But I don't know the safest place is always with mom,” says parent Kristine Berkowitz.
The lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m.
Police say that charges have not yet been filed against the teens, as the incident remains under investigation.


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