Potential safety incident at Jenkintown Elementary prompts response from Superintendent, School Board and Chief of Police

Jenkintown School District

On Tuesday, May 28th, we reported an allegation had been made in the Jenkintown School District in regards to a potential unsafe situation and the response of Jenkintown Superintendent, Dr. Jill A. Takacs. On Wednesday, more information was released about the incident and Dr. Takacs, the Jenkintown School Board, and the Jenkintown Chief of Police, Tom Scott, released statements about the incident.

From the Superintendent’s statement:

● Yesterday afternoon, after the school day, I was informed that a few students received notes from another student which said, “Don’t come to school tomorrow.” There was also a seating chart with names listed.
● I immediately communicated with the police, who received a parent complaint around the same time.
● The District cooperated with the police investigation and did not take any steps that might have interfered with that investigation. The District continued to work cooperatively with police today.
● During the District’s investigation today, we learned that some students claimed that another student made a comment that students interpreted as a threat; however, (1) the student did not threaten to bring a gun to school or shoot anyone and (2) the perceived threat was not brought to the attention of any administrator or teacher until today.
● Students shared the story and at some point, assumptions, misunderstandings, or embellishments lead to the story changing into something quite different than reality.
● While there remains conflicting accounts of the nature of the seating chart and the notes, (1) the police thoroughly investigated this incident and determined there is no credible threat to our schools and that it was safe to resume school today and (2) the District The School District of Jenkintown is an equal opportunity employer and provider thoroughly investigated this incident and concurred with the police conclusion that there is no credible threat.

The Superintendent also acknowledged that there were many emails and from the community looking for more information about the threat and were confused by the initial announcement. Because of the need for an investigation and because it is a student matter, it took some time for all the details to become clear.

The School Board statement reiterated that point:

This has been an evolving and confusing situation with many different perspectives and experiences to be considered and investigated before the District could provide any information to the community.

Chief Scott’s statement summed up the investigation and the steps taken before informing the public. You can read it here.