ADAMS, Mass. — Staff and students at Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School were instructed to shelter in place on Thursday after a student received a threat via cellphone that was later determined to be "unsubstantiated."
The Adams Police Department posted on its Facebook page late Thursday that the "after a extensive initial investigation, the threat level was unsubstantiated. The threat itself is still being investigated by this department. ... Our initial priority, before anything else, is the safety of our children while at school."
There was a heavy state police presence at the school at One Commercial St. as well as local officers for several hours. Adams Police Chief K. Scott Kelley was also at the school.
The school's Executive Director Jay White sent out a message to the BArT community stating that "a student reported receiving a threat of harm towards our School community. We immediately notified state and local police who arrived at the School to inspect the premises and determine the plausibility of the threat."
White said the school activated its shelter-in-place protocols and that more information would be provided. Parents were also notified by text that "students are safe and secure."
About 2:44 p.m., parents were texted that the threat was deemed "non-credible."
According to posts by parents on Facebook, the threat came over the AirDrop app. This was confirmed by Adams Police.
A social media post by a parent stated their child had sent them a picture of the threat, which stated the sender had a gun in their back pack and was going to shoot up the school at 11:40.
"Please hide and take cover this is no joke," the sender wrote.
AirDrop allows users of Apple products such as iPhones and iPads to send messages and images to other Apple products within Wi-Fi or Bluetooth range. The app can be set to send/receive only from contacts or receive from everyone.
The ability to AirDrop uninvited and anonymously has been related to a number of incidents over the past year. A teen in Arizona was charged in sending violent and pornographic material this month and a Delta flight was panicked during the summer when someone AirDropped that the plane would be hijacked.
Hoosac Valley Elementary School across the street was in a "hold in place" for a short time as a precaution, according to school officials there.
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