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Message to students leads to police response

An individual who allegedly sent a threatening message to Allentown High School students has been detained and the threat is believed to have been a hoax.

According to Upper Freehold Regional School District administrators, Allentown High School students received a message on Jan. 3 advising them not to come to school on Jan. 4. The message was received on the students’ phones through Apple Inc.’s AirDrop service.

After the message was received on Jan. 3, district administrators said high school students were asked to remain in the building as a safety precaution and students in the district’s other schools, the Newell Elementary School and the Stone Bridge Middle School, also remained in their buildings until dismissal.

The message prompted an immediate response from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office officer who provides security in the district and from the school district’s school resource officer who is a New Jersey State Police trooper. Both officers provide security services to Upper Freehold Regional, according to district administrators.

The New Jersey State Police subsequently conducted an investigation to identify the individual who sent the message.

On Jan. 4, Superintendent of Schools Mark Guterl wrote in a message to the community that the individual who was allegedly responsible for sending the message had been detained by the state police. He said district administrators did not believe students and staff members were in any actual danger.

Guterl said no additional information about the situation could be shared.

Representatives of the state police confirmed that troopers responded to and investigated a threat at Allentown High School, but said they could not release any information concerning a possible suspect.

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