COAL TOWNSHIP - In light of last month's shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Coal Township police will patrol more frequently at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School.

High school Principal Marty McCarthy sent an email to parents last week saying the decision was made due to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"We would like for you not to be alarmed if your child arrives home from school and tells you that there were police officers throughout the school," he wrote on Thursday. "You may explain to him or her that this is for the safety of them."

Coal Township Police Chief William Carpenter said Monday that McCarthy's request for increased police presence at the school was not prompted by an alleged threatening statement posted on Twitter by a 15-year-old male student at the school Jan. 15. He said the timing of the visit was coincidental.

"It was totally unrelated to the alleged threat," Carpenter said.

Charges of terroristic threats and disorderly conduct were filed by Coal Township Patrolman David Sage against the teen. Police said the teen's statement made mention that the juvenile wanted to create a similar situation at Lourdes that occurred Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook, where 20 elementary school students and six adults were shot and killed.

The charges were filed with Northumberland County Juvenile Court.

McCarthy confirmed Monday that the boy was suspended for three days and may face additional discipline pending the outcome of the investigation. Lourdes was closed Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Patrols at Shamokin, too

Carpenter said Coal Township police met with officials from Lourdes on Thursday to walk through the school and update their contact information.

He said the tour and inspection were conducted as part of extra security measures being implemented by area schools and others throughout the country in response to the tragedy in Connecticut and other mass shootings.

Carpenter said daily patrols at Lourdes will be increased. The chief said his officers also conduct daily patrols at Shamokin Area Elementary School and Shamokin Area Middle-High School.

McCarthy, who in his letter thanked parents for their understanding and support, said any questions or concerns should be directed to him at 644-0375, extension 110.