Rosendale Elementary and Iroquois Middle schools were placed on lockout Tuesday after Niskayuna police got a report of three people with what appeared to be a gun in River Road Park.
Niskayuna police Lt. Michael Stevens said the initial report was made by a woman who had a distant vantage point and could not offer much description, though she claimed to see three teenage boys with what she thought was a rifle.
Stevens said all available officers immediately were dispatched to search the park, where trails lead directly to the two schools. At first, the officers found nothing and gave the schools permission to dismiss students.
Stevens said the department later received a phone call from a parent who had solved the mystery.
“A parent got the email and confronted his kid, and his son admitted it was him with some buddies, and that it was a BB gun,” Stevens said. “That’s all being investigated at this point.”
No charges have been filed yet.
The initial call, just after 3 p.m., coincided with the end of the school day, and few students were affected, according to the district.
“At Iroquois, there were about 10 students in the building,” said Matt Leon, the Niskayuna Central School District’s communication specialist.
At Rosendale, students had already been dismissed for the day, but a Kids Time afterschool program run by the Jewish Community Center was still in operation.
“Police were on the grounds of both buildings, and there were staff to help dismiss students to parents,” Leon said.
The incident’s timing, closely aligned with dismissal, interrupted the district’s usual protocol for notifying families about emergencies. Leon said the district does have a phone-based alert system in place, but it was not used in this case because it did not affect the timing of dismissal.
Regardless of how they hear the news, parents of Rosendale and Iroquois students will be happy to know their children are safe.
“We are confident that the schools are not in danger,” Stevens said. “[The teenagers] were shooting cans.”
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