Hudson Valley, New York Schools Plagued By Shooting Threats
One school district in the Hudson Valley is investigating multiple school shooting threats.
In late April, a racially-charged threat forced a two-hour delay for Newburgh schools.
"Out of an abundance of caution, every school in the district will open on a two-hour delay schedule for Tuesday, April 26, 2022. This time will allow for coordination with multiple agencies of local law enforcement and will provide our team time to coordinate crisis intervention supports that will be available for all students, faculty, and staff," Newburgh Enlarged City School District Acting Superintendent of Schools Ed Forgit said.
Newburgh Schools Delay After Racially Charged Threats
We were able to review those April messages. Messages we've seen reference the KKK and say that harm will come to minority students. There was also a threat about getting revenge for an alleged bullying incident which the writer blames Black students for, using offensive and racist language.
Another message mentioned both South and Heritage middle schools by name and included a photo of an assault-style weapon.
More Social Media Threats in Newburgh, New Windsor
Unfortunately, in the days that followed, more threats were made toward Newburgh schools
"Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate the threats being received through social media. The District is taking each and every threat seriously and conducting thorough investigations in collaboration with law enforcement," Forgit said on Monday. "We have been very fortunate that each of these threats has been unfounded. However, I want to assure you that each and every threat will continue to be addressed with a high level of concern."
A new social media threat we've reviewed shows a Snapchat photo of guns on a bed with the caption "Temple is next," referring to Temple Hill Academy in New Windsor.
"Unfortunately, these threats on social media are taking much-needed time away from providing instruction and raising anxiety levels of the members of our school community. Because of this, we have deployed critical response teams to each school that receives a threat to address the anxiety. These teams assess the impact of the threat and how it may be affecting the students and adults in the school. Then, a support team is identified and deployed to address the identified needs," Forgit added on Monday.
Forgit also encouraged students to share the names of the people responsible for the threats.
"In addition, we need your support to prevent further threats. Please speak with your child and discuss with them how these threats are impacting our entire community. Please encourage them to share the names of individuals who may be responsible. The Newburgh Enlarged City School District has so much to be proud of and allowing these threats to overshadow the efforts of our students and staff is unacceptable. We are committed to identifying each and every individual responsible for these threats. We will also advocate that all individuals involved in threatening our schools receive the greatest consequence allowed under the law," Forgit said.
All Newburgh schools are closed today, Tuesday, May 3 for a religious holiday, according to school officials.