Security has been beefed up following a string of threats that caused concern for students and staff in the Mamaroneck School District.
Over the past several days, the district “has been challenged by three unrelated instances of alleged student threats to the safety of Hommocks Middle School," Schools Superintendent Robert Shaps said.
The first threat came on Tuesday, June 11, when administrators at Hommocks were notified that a middle school student had threatened to harm classmates. Police were alerted and the investigation determined that the student in question was not in the building at the time and was being supervised at all times.
The student’s parents were notified and it was determined that there was no threat to student safety.
On Friday, June 14, police were again contacted and a lockout was initiated as a precaution after a student relayed information that another threat had been made by a student not attending school that day. The lockout was lifted after the police found no active or credible threat.
The latest incident came on Monday, June 17, when a former middle school student no longer living in or near the district, made a social media threat over the weekend. Shaps said that “took immediate action to investigate and advised us that there was no active or credible threat to students and staff.”
None of the threats were deemed credible, and Shaps noted that none of the threats appear to be connected.
“We will always exercise our safety protocols swiftly and rely upon law enforcement for expertise and guidance,” he said. "Further, parents and students alike should understand that the district will not tolerate nor excuse student acts that pose serious and immediate safety threats to our students and staff.”
In response to the threats, the district held a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 18 and plans to increase security throughout the district. Funding has been approved for a visitor management system that will require IDs for all parties entering the school and more security cameras.
“The issue of communication while an alleged threat is being investigated is of critical importance,” Shaps added. “Parents and staff have a right to know what we are doing to fulfill our first-priority mandate to maintain safe and secure school environments. However, there are times when we can only provide limited information based upon law enforcement guidance or legal concerns, or are challenged to communicate in a timely way based upon insufficiency of information.”
The superintendent said that the district will be reviewing their existing communications protocols over the summer, and the new security measures are expected to be in place by the beginning of the next academic year in the fall.
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