Lowville Academy Investigates School Threat

Lowville Academy Investigates School Threat

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Lowville school district officials and law enforcement are investigating a possible threat.

Superintendent Cheryl Steckly tells 7 News that a high school freshman was overheard by several students about three weeks ago that he wanted to bring a gun to school.

She said school officials didn't hear about it until last week.

“Last week we became aware of a student making comments to other students in a classroom," she said. "We believe those comments took place about three or four weeks ago, but in light of all of the events that happened in Florida last week, the tragedy there, it caused our students to rethink those comments and they went to their parents to share that information and the parents came to us.”

A gunman killed 17 people and wounded several others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.

The student who made the potential threat, who has had behavioral problems in the past, is not in school anymore, Steckly said. She said there will be a hearing soon to decide if he will be allowed back in school.

Steckly said security has been beefed up at the school and law enforcement authorities are conducting their own investigation.

An assembly was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to discuss what happened with students and staff.

In a recorded phone call to parents, Steckly said the district is conducting "a thorough investigation and has involved local law enforcement."

She said the district takes every threat seriously and that the safety of students and staff "is our highest priority," especially "in a time when school violence has become a part of our world."

Here is the text of the recorded call:

"Dear Students, Parents and Community Members,

"As many of you may be aware, Lowville Academy and Central School received information regarding a possible threat toward the school.  Please be assured the district is conducting a thorough investigation and has involved local law enforcement.
 
"Student and staff safety is our highest priority and in a time when school violence has become a part of our world, our district will take each and every threat seriously and treat each one as credible.  We are grateful that students, staff and parents remain vigilant and willingly share with us any concerns related to student safety.  We encourage everyone in our school community to continue to come forward to share concerns.  It is important that students feel safe in school and we want you as parents to feel confident that your children are safe while in our care. 

"We will always notify you of such incidents as soon as we have all the facts and credible information to share. Our immediate concern is to be sure that our students are completely safe. If you do not hear from us immediately, please understand that we do not want to report inaccurate information and we will share with you what we know once more information is received. 

"Please know that we will always do everything possible to ensure the safety of everyone at Lowville Academy.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns."

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