Harrisburg, York reschedule football game after reported threats

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Threats reportedly made on social media prompted school officials to reschedule Friday’s football game between Harrisburg and York high schools.

Harrisburg schools spokeswoman Kirsten Keys said the game at York was changed to Saturday at 11 a.m. after parents reported threats were made to members of the Harrisburg High School football team.

Keys said both school districts investigated the reports. District administrators haven’t seen any threats, but the schools agreed it was best to reschedule the game as a safety precaution.

There also will be increased security during the game.

“Everyone needs to know and understand that our number one priority is to ensure the safety of all of our students,” said Calvin Everett, Harrisburg’s director of athletics and activities. “Whether they’re in football, cheerleading, band, that’s the most important thing, as well as the students that attend York High, as well.”

In a letter to parents, Everett said everyone entering the stadium will go through a metal detector and all bags will be searched. Nine police officers, 15 security guards, and 15 ROTC members will patrol the stadium grounds to watch for suspicious activity. Police will escort players to and from the stadium, the locker rooms and the field, he wrote.

Tickets purchased for Friday’s game will be honored on Saturday morning.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for York schools said the district agreed to reschedule the game to accommodate the request of officials in Harrisburg.

“Given the history of a spirited rivalry between our two districts, we also plan to enhance security at Saturday’s game,” the statement read.

“The safety and security of our students, parents, community members, staff and guests has always been and continues to be our top priority. The School District of the City of York does not tolerate any behavior that threatens the safety of our learning environments or our extra-curricular activities.”

“We want to emphasize the district has received absolutely no indication of threats to the safety and security of Saturday’s game. Our decision to change the game time stemmed entirely from Harrisburg’s request to do so. We believe it is unethical for the press to spread rumors that implicate our students of wrongdoing when there is zero evidence to support such claims,” the statement concluded.

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