TOWN OF AMSTERDAM — A juvenile was charged in connection to an alleged threat against Amsterdam High School on Wednesday, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith.
The specific charges against the minor and the juvenile’s identity were not released due to their age.
“However, we want to assure the community that appropriate legal measures have been taken to address this incident effectively,” Smith said in a prepared statement.
Greater Amsterdam School District Superintendent Richard Ruberti confirmed the individual was a student at the high school.
While he would not comment on the specific charges, Ruberti noted students have been charged with making a terroristic threat in connection to similar incidents in the past.
The student has been placed on out-of-school suspension and a superintendent’s hearing will be scheduled regarding further disciplinary action.
The student allegedly made a post on social media of a “threatening nature” against the high school just after a scheduled lockdown drill on Wednesday morning.
A student from another school district saw and reported the post immediately.
Amsterdam school officials promptly identified the student allegedly responsible and escorted them out of the classroom with their belongings, Ruberti said.
District staff were then able to determine there was no immediate threat.
“It’s very upsetting to have this occur yet again,” Ruberti said. “We have really tried to make students aware of the severity of these actions.”
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office swiftly initiated an investigation to assess the validity of the threat and confirm the identity of the individual involved.
Charges were filed in coordination with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Recurring issues last year related to social media posts prompted the school district to start teaching students the importance of digital citizenship beginning in first grade.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that occurs on a nationwide basis … As a district we’ve taken it very seriously,” Ruberti said. “The internet is written in ink, not pencil. We’re trying to get ahead of it so students don’t make mistakes early in life with something like this.”
The sheriff reminded students, parents and the community to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activities or concerns to law enforcement immediately.
“Threats of violence, regardless of their source or intention, will not be tolerated,” Smith stated.
The Amsterdam Police Department and school district assisted with the investigation.
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.