GALLOWAY — Three South Jersey high school students are facing criminal charges after being blamed for two lockdowns Wednesday at their high school.

Police and bomb squads were called to Absegami High School about 10:16 a.m. after “suspicious pictures” of students and weapons were posted to social media. The pictures appeared to show the interior of the school.

It's at least the second time in as many months in which a New Jersey student has been charged with causing a school lockdown because of social media posts.

Last month, a 16-year-old girl was charged charged with making threats against Linden High School on Instagram. Authorities said the girl posted a picture of a rifle with an ominous message threatening to shoot up the school.

Galloway police on Wednesday arrested a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy and charged them with creating a false public alarm.

Authorities found no weapons in the school building and lifted the lockdown after two hours.

Not long after that, however, another student sent a group text “creating another false public alarm,” police said.

Jil Patel, 18, was charged with creating a false public alarm.

Authorities did not release the names of the other teenagers because they are minors.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call township police at 609-652-3705 ext. 344 or the Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

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