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WILKES-BARRE — The threat that prompted Wilkes-Barre Area School District to close all schools Friday and switch to online learning came from out of state, Superintendent Brian Costello announced Friday afternoon. Schools will re-open Monday.

The district received information about a threat around 11:39 p.m. Thursday and by 6 a.m. or so word was going out to teachers to prepare to hold lessons on line. All schools were closed to students and staff Friday, a move Superintendent Brian Costello made public shortly before 6:30 a.m.

Plains Township police and other law enforcement agencies were notified and an investigation begun. Around 2:40 p.m. Costello released additional information, noting “The threat was traced to another state where their local law enforcement has been contacted and are investigating.”

The tip came through the state’s Safe2Say Something system, a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office Attorney General. Anonymous tips can be reported via phone on or online with tip line operators quickly passing the information on to school district and law enforcement officials for appropriate response.

Costello would not identify which school was involved in the threat, or which state the threat came from, because the investigation is ongoing. But he did note it’s “not uncommon” to get threats from outside the district and even outside the state through the Safe2Say system.

“I want to commend our students who brought this information to our attention and also thank their families for cooperating with us in the early morning hours,” Costello wrote in an afternoon email. “Although today was an inconvenience for many of our parents, students, and families, I can assure our community that our top priority will always be the safety of our students and staff.”

All schools will be open Monday.

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish