Schenectady

Schenectady’s Oneida Middle School’s lockout ends (updated)

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Oneida Middle School of Schenectady City Schools is out of a lockout after city police deemed a threat against the school that was posted on Snapchat was unfounded.

The district posted a message to community members on its website this morning stating the threat had been seen this morning and police had been contacted. The school went into an immediate lockout.

In a lockout, nobody can enter the building until the measure is lifted. However, classes are continuing as normal, according to the message.

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During the lockout city police search the school, but found no bombs or anything else suspicious, said Pat Irwin, the public information officer for the department.

“The source of the Snapchat is not even in this country,” Irwin said, noting another student at the school had brought the post to the district’s attention.

However, Irwin said the person behind the post is affiliated with the district, but could not provide further detail as the matter is still under investigation.

This threat follows one that was made against the school in October, but was also unfounded.

This Snapchat post also comes as posts were recently trending on social media platform TikTok warning of acts of violence at schools across the nation. Those threats were unfounded, many districts reported.

“We know that there are young people passing those along and creating copycat threats,” the district said. “We can’t stress enough the importance of talking to children about the seriousness of making any kind of threat, making them aware that all threats can be tracked by law enforcement, and the serious consequences that follow.”

Galway Central Schools announced it is closed for the day “out of an abundance of caution” after a school official found one of the school’s doors propped open. Meanwhile, the Averill Park Central School District announced last night it had closed for today after it had “received a threat directed toward the District from an unknown person or persons.”

Recently, posts circulating on the popular social media app TikTok suggested school shootings will take place nationally on Friday. The posts circulating on social media come just over two weeks after a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan left four students dead.

Related to the national threats, an increased police presence is expected today at area schools

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On its district’s website, Averill Park’s statement said that it discovered the threat against the school late Thursday night.

“We wish to stress that it is, at present, an unsubstantiated threat. Out of an abundance of caution, the District will be closed tomorrow (Friday, December 17) for all students in grades K-12. The District will still provide transportation for all full-day out-of-district programs and to all private and parochial schools. There will not be transportation to half-day Questar III BOCES CTE programs. Upon learning of this threat, the District immediately contacted law enforcement and is currently working closely with the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police. The investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to work with law enforcement to determine who is responsible. Threats off all kinds, including those made anonymously, are taken very seriously. If it is a student that is determined to have made the threat, they will face serious consequences through our school’s Code of Conduct, as well as potential criminal charges,” the school’s statement reads.

Earlier this week, the Scotia-Glenville Central School District confirmed it will be posting an officer outside of its middle and high school on arrival this morning following posts circulating on the popular social media app TikTok that suggest school shootings will take place nationally. The posts also caught the attention of the Saratoga Springs City School District and the Niskayuna Central School District, which posted messages on their respective websites regarding the topic.

Schenectady City Schools released a statement Thursday night regarding the national security concerns today for schools.

“As you may know, there is a recent increase in threats circulating on social media platforms. Please know that we pay close attention and take every threat very seriously. The Schenectady Police Department, including our on-site community engagement officers,  are aware of any threats circulating on social media platforms. They are closely monitoring any and all threats and will respond as needed,” the school’s statement, in part, reads.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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