Lampeter-Strasburg schools receive shooting threat; Suspicious package is a geocache

A heavy police presence will remain and certain safety measures will continue in the wake of two recent threats made regarding Lampeter-Strasburg School District.

In a letter to parents Monday afternoon, Superintendent Kevin Peart said students in all buildings were kept inside for recess and physical education as a precaution after the latest threat was received Sunday.

In addition, student access at the high school and middle school was limited to two entrances at each building. Student entry in the morning will continue to be limited to two entrances at each school, according to the letter.

Belongings of all students were searched Monday and will continue to be searched, officials said.

As is standard practice, all entrances to the school are locked during the school day.

The security measures are in response to two threats in the last five days, the most recent of which was received Sunday afternoon.

The threat that included the words, “shooting some kids,” was received via text through the Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers tipline.

On the heels of the threat, a resident found a suspicious item near the Lampeter-Strasburg campus that police investigated late Sunday. The item was determined to be a geocache, West Lampeter Township police Chief Brian Wiczkowski said Monday.

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game in which players hide items in a container called a geocache and other people try to find the container using GPS devices and coordinates.

The Conestoga Valley School District is also dealing with an anonymous threat, according to a message from Smoketown Elementary Principal Sally Brederman on the school district’s website.

Friday evening, East Lampeter Township police investigated a bomb threat specific to Smoketown Elementary. Law enforcement used a K-9 unit to search the building and found nothing. A school resource officer and another East Lampeter officer were at the school.

According to a Conestoga Valley spokesman, 58 students, or three times the typical number, were absent Monday. The school has an enrollment of 680.

According to a voice message from Lampeter-Strasburg Superintendent Kevin Peart that went out to families just after 8 p.m. Sunday, the shooting threat received earlier in the day referenced the investigation of a bomb threat last weekregarding the high school.

That threat, made Thursday night, also was received via text through Crime Stoppers.

The threat made Sunday did not target a particular school within the district.

Anyone with information specific to the threat is asked to contact West Lampeter Township police at 464-2421.

In separate incidents, a 14-year-old Cocalico High School boy was charged Monday after police said he wrote a threat on a bathroom wall last week.

Also last week, Donegal High School was put on lockdown Wednesday after a shooting threat was made via social media. Aninth-grader was charged the next day.

The 15-year-old boy told police he was “curious” about the response the threat would garner.