Police Investigating Threatening Letter Sent to Whitehall Elementary

Parents were alarmed to receive a call from the school alerting them to the letter, but reportedly offering few details.

Several concerned parents contacted Patch on Monday, Jan. 28, after receiving a call from Whitehall Elementary School alerting them to a letter sent to the school that was now under investigation.

Parents were not specific about any details conveyed in the call and calls to Maryanne Hoskins, principal of Whitehall Elementary, were referred to the Norristown Area School District. The school district has not returned calls for comment at this time.

West Norriton Police Chief Dale Mabry confirmed that his department is investigating the letter, which was reportedly sent to the school from a correctional institution.

"The writer of the letter is incarcerated," said Chief Mabry. "So he doesn't pose an immediate threat to the school."

Because the matter is currently under investigation, Chief Mabry could not share the contents of the letter, but confirmed it contained threats against the school in general.

"Our juvenile detective has it right now and he will handle that invesigation," said Chief Mabry.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

mariel January 29, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Is there any more information release so we can feel safe for our children to go back to school... I don't feel that its right the parents are being held back from so much information please someone let us know something
Common Sense January 29, 2013 at 09:07 PM
The school have done a better job at conveying this type of information! A recorded call with just saying that the safety of our staff and students are our highest priority and then a vague comment as to the situation is not to me the best way to handle a situation like this after what just happen up north!!! No parent in their right mind would accept this presentation of this incident! What about including a letter in a child's take home folder with what the school district is doing to ensure the safety of all in that school! Not just some crazy recording!!!! Do u really care about the safety??? Some people don't have phones!!! Others may have not gotten the message! Common sense...maybe the school and the district should have a better plan in place! Superintendents should step up to the plate, do their job and respond to these parents with something that they will comfortable placing their child/ren in your care! Get serious! If that was their child in that school... Would they want a better explanation then what was given? Makes you wander should that person even be in that job position.
Liberty Belle January 30, 2013 at 02:00 AM
just because someone is incarcerated does not mean they are not a threat. If this person sent a letter to the school. the same person could have sent letters to others.
sharon moyer January 30, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Send a letter home with a child ? Get more common sense a child will read it & get scared. Now a days WHO don't have some kind of phone ? I do have a child in that school and took her there this morning. If you are so concern why did'nt you contact school instead of patch? The contents of the letter was to the school and they did right by contacting the police! They can't tell us the content of they letter because that would hinder THE ONGOING INVESTIGATING!! You need to get more common sense!!!
Common Sense January 30, 2013 at 09:34 PM
To Ms. Moyer, With all do respect, not everyone has a phone!!! So to make a statement like that, I hate to say it but it's false. Not everyone has a phone. To address the issue with sending a letter home in a take home folder....Did I ever once say “they should explain anything about the letter?" NO. What i said was this if you don't quite understand "Due to the vague voice mail response that had been given to the parents, which did cause quite an alarm to a large portion of the parents whose child/ren do attend there, the school could have addressed the safety precautions that they have in place for incidents that concern the well-being of the staff and the children that attend the school and also inform them of a recorded call that they would be receiving ( "if" "they do have access to a phone"). Also that would give parents who do not have access to a phone information about how the school district handles situations like this. Another thing that I may add is this....before I notify PATCH (to which I didn't notify PATCH in the first place) I would have contacted the school administration and/or the West Norriton Police Dept. Parents were contacting the school and the staff there forwarded all calls to whom???? The superintendent....to which....no answer/no response....Is that they way a superintendent handles concerned parents or avoids them????
Common Sense January 30, 2013 at 09:40 PM
2nd half: The incident that occurred today...was handled in my own personal opinion, the right way. Not only did the local police department put something out (publicly, may I add) to dismay any concerns of how they handled the safety of children but it also deterred alot of negativity in the public eye and view of the school. Since your child attends there, do you know the safety precautions being taken in case of incidents like this? Matter of fact, just because someone is incarcerated doesn't necessarily mean that their actions can't be carried out...do you remember the Beltway Sniper not too long ago or other school tragedies where there were more than one individual involved??? If I remember correctly Eisenhower school had an adult buzzed in and he never showed up at the office, and it took a minute for someone to realize that the person never came to the office and then they had that school on lock down. Do you remember that? All I'm saying is that this world now a day, parents want to not just know what the situation is (even if vague) but their more and more concerned as to how the schools are going to protect their children as well as the competence of the staff.
Common Sense January 30, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Final half: They did do the right thing by notifying the police but it was how the parents were handled in the notification method that bothers me and others. A letter reiterating the necessary measure being taken for safety and a notification of a recorded call being placed due to an incident may have deterred such uproar (not all because I can't speak for the entire school).
Tree January 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Honestly! I have a phone! I did not get this information! I found out from the patch in my email! Also this school is not acessable by public transportation. It frightens me that I can't get to baby of she needs me. Smh. I am new to norristown. Since I've been here several neighbors lost their children to murders unsolved. There is vomit and feces on the sidewalks everywhere . The schools are infested with live and bed bugs.. Dead animals lay in the street. I've watched the police run from irrate citizens... My kids are shocked at what they see in the classroom .And now this... Where have I landed? I understand there is all towns have their problems but my gosh!!! Prayers and blessing to the citizens of Norristown. Smh!
jessica January 31, 2013 at 01:18 PM
that was one of the things i thought, what about the people who dose not have a phone,
michael mirra February 03, 2013 at 12:30 PM
What the hell is this crap with people threatening violence in the schools? We must protect our children. Even a threat to perpetrate violence against a school should be zero tolerance with a life sentence & anyone shooting, bombing, etc any school should get the death penalty. This convict should have, at least 10 more years added to his time just for the threat & if anything were to occur that he could be tied too, extended to life in prison for his compliance in any violence. If someone is killed, he should get the death penalty, even if he personally wasn't the shooter, or bomber.


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