Former student records threat against St. Marys Area High School 

By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

ST. MARYS –– All suspects are in custody following a threat made to students on Wednesday at St. Marys Area High School.
St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Brian Toth explained students informed SMASD Police Officer John Lovett, about a video they viewed on Facebook in which Joseph Michael Seawright, 18, was seen making a threat to students as well as firing a gun. 
“There was never anyone who came on campus with a gun. There was no one in danger and everybody was safe,” Toth said. “I have to certainly commend our students for doing what they're supposed to do. If we see something or hear something then come and tell us, and they did that.”
Lovett immediately contacted the City of St. Marys Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police who arrived at the high school around 9:30 a.m. Police remained on scene until dismissal to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Once Toth was permitted, he sent out notifications to parents around 1:12 p.m. informing them of the situation. 
The notice read: “All students are safe but we have had a threat against the school. Law enforcement is currently seeking the location of Joseph Michael Seawright and Caitlyn Ambuski.”
“A thank you to the local and state police for assisting us all day today and for making sure our students were safe,” Toth said. 
According to Toth, Seawright is a graduate of SMAHS while Ambuski was a former student. Court documents show Seawright is a resident of Johnsonburg while his girlfriend, Ambuski, 18, resides in Kersey. It was not divulged as to what capacity Ambuski played a role in the threat. 
As a result of the investigation the SMPD issued arrest warrants for the individuals. Police apprehended Ambuski on Wednesday afternoon and were looking for Seawright who was believed to be out of the area. Seawright was later apprehended. No other individuals are believed to be involved in the threat, according to police. 
Around 6:20 p.m., the school district issued a notification stating all suspects were in custody. The investigation remains ongoing by the City of St. Marys Police Department and the Office of the Elk County District Attorney.
“This shows when we have something to tell people, we will tell you. We’re not hesitant to do that. We’re a public school in 2019. It’s a lot different than it was 40 years ago,” Toth said. “We saw something that made us very, very concerned and we took action very quickly.”
According to criminal dockets, it appears both individuals will be charged with misdemeanor terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another and conspiracy to commit terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another.
The school district implemented a controlled dismissal at the conclusion of the school day on Wednesday, again to ensure the safety of students. As part of this procedure, high school students who drove to school were released early at 2:15 p.m. From there, only three buses were released at a time, first at the middle, then at the high school. 
As a result, this caused a delayed in buses arriving at the elementary schools. This was the first time the district has implemented a controlled dismissal. 
“This was to keep better tabs as to what was going on and we didn’t have that big mass dismissal,” Toth said. “Everything went smoothly and everyone was safe.”
Additionally, all after-school activities were cancelled as a precaution related to the threat.
“Our local authorities along with our school police did a fabulous job, as well as our school staff, in keeping all of our students comfortable, talking to them when needed, because this spread relatively quickly,” Toth said.

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