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5 high school students arrested after threats close Pa. schools

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CANTON, Pa. (AP) — Three more high school students were arrested after police said they made threats of violence that prompted the closure of a Bradford County school district this week.

A total of five male juveniles from Canton High School were being held Thursday at a detention center in Wellsboro in connection with the threats, Bradford County chief probation officer Thomas Schuster said.

All five were charged with terroristic threats and creating a risk of catastrophe. They are due at a detention hearing Friday in Towanda.

While school officials did not detail the threats, district Superintendent Jeffrey Johnston has said that no weapons were involved and state police did not find any weapons during a sweep of the school.

Administrators were first notified by students of the threats last week and the school notified police, Johnston said.

At an emergency school board meeting Wednesday night, one parent said some threats were made directly to classmates while others were posted online.

The suspects, all ages 15 or 16, called themselves the "Drive-By Kings" gang, according to Canton Police Chief Douglas Seeley.

The first two suspects were arrested Tuesday, when school officials closed the district's high school and elementary school. The school board then took an impromptu vote at an emergency meeting Tuesday night to cancel classes for the rest of the week and look at new safety measures.

Board members voted Wednesday to have two armed uniformed borough police officers on duty when school resumes next week. They also approved a new parent notification system and improved door security, but a proposal to look at buying metal detectors was tabled.

The threats were made at the junior/senior high school, but the elementary school was also shut down as a precaution. About 1,100 students were affected.

Canton is about 90 miles west of Scranton.


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