Several schools close or delay after bomb threats

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 7:10 AM EDT
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(WWNY) - In a second spate of school “swatting” incidents in just a few days, many north country schools delayed opening Tuesday morning.

Several later decided to close.

Dozens of schools across the state received an email containing a bomb threat. As with the false threats to schools on Thursday, law enforcement responded and couldn’t find any cause for alarm.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she has directed state police to investigate the threats, identify the perpetrators, and hold them accountable.

She said more than 50 school districts in the north country, central New York, Long Island, and the Southern Tier received threats.

In a statement, General Brown Central School District Superintendent Brian Moore says the email his district received is believed to have come from overseas. It didn’t identify General Brown specifically and was sent to dozens of schools across the state.

In General Brown’s case, students were in the school and were evacuated as state police were called in. Moore said that even though school and law enforcement officials believed it was a hoax, they treated it as real as a precaution.

Nearly a dozen schools in St. Lawrence County were also targeted, including Hammond Central.

“The state police acted quickly. There was a state police trooper at our place by 5:45 a.m. this morning and wouldn’t even let myself in the building at this point until they finally brought a dog I believe from the Syracuse area all the way up through,” said Superintendent Douglas McQueer, Hammond Central School District.

The sheriff’s office and state police worked to get police, some with trained dogs, to every district in the county just to be safe.

Gouverneur Central delayed opening Tuesday morning. Its superintendent issued a statement notifying parents that they may notice an increased police presence at school.

Hermon-DeKalb’s superintendent said school administrators from across the state had a virtual meeting Tuesday afternoon with law enforcement officials to address these false reports.