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February 07, 2019

Ten Philadelphia public schools named in threatening Instagram post; police investigating

Anonymous poster wrote about shooting at the schools. Extra officers have been stationed at each building

Investigations Social Media
01072015_Masterman_school_GM Google/StreetView

The facade of the Julia R. Masterman school on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia.

Ten schools in the Philadelphia School District were named in a threat posted to Instagram on Wednesday evening. The anonymous poster threatened to shoot at the schools on Thursday, Feb. 7.

School district spokesperson H. Lee Whack said on Thursday morning that the post referenced the person going to shoot at the schools and used profane language. It was first tracked down by the Philadelphia Police Department, but the message now appears to have been deleted.

After investigating, police sent additional officers to each of the schools named in the threat for increased security, Whack said.

"It became clear that this was an issue around 8:30 this morning," Whack said. "We're communicating with the schools involved, and we are communicating with the families of those students through robocall and through letters."

Six of the 10 school named in the threat are located in South Philly. Also six of the schools on the list are high schools or have both high schools and middle school in their buildings.

The full list of schools threatened in the post are as follows:

Academy at Palumbo; 1100 Catharine St., South Philly
Franklin Learning Center616 N. 15th St., Spring Garden
School of The Future4021 Parkside Ave., West Philly
Central High School1700 W. Olney Ave., Logan
Andrew Jackson School1213 S. 12th St., South Philly
Kirkbride School; 1501 S. Seventh St., Southwark
Mastery Charter School - Thomas Campus; South Philly
Vare-Washington Elementary1198 S. Fifth St., Southwark
D. Newlin Fell School900 W. Oregon Ave., South Philly
Masterman School; 1699 Spring Garden St.; Spring Garden

None of these schools had been placed on lockdown as a result of the Instagram post.

In an email to students' families at Masterman School,  Assistant Principal Tonya Broussard said additional police were at the school.

"We want to be clear, safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority," Broussard wrote.

"We take threats like this seriously and we work with law enforcement, according to our District policy and protocol, to fully investigate them and do everything possible to keep our school safe."

Police and the school district are continuing to fully investigate the matter. The Philadelphia Police Department did not immediately respond to PhillyVoice's request for comment.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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