Hoax shooting threats spread fear at Clarkstown North

The 2015/16 school year is winding down but tensions are winding up at Clarkstown North High School. In the early part of May the Clarkstown Police Department investigated two alleged threats to engage in mass shootings at the school, both determined to be hoaxes.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016 CPD investigated a report from some students that a fellow male student made a verbal threat that he was going to shoot the school up on the following day.  It was determined that that the threat was not credible. Due to the age of the student, school administration will handle the disciplinary issues arising from this incident.

In a second incident, which occurred on Friday, May 6, 2016, a 17-year-old male student from Congers was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

A concerned female Clarkstown High School North student advised Clarkstown officers that a male student posted a Snapchat image of himself with a gun to his head with the caption “Do Not Go to School Today.” The Clarkstown Police Department determined the posting to be a hoax and arrested the unnamed youth on the above charges. He was given an appearance ticket and will return to the Clarkstown Justice Court next month.

“We cannot, nor will we, tolerate disruptions to the learning environment or behavior that causes our students and families to be fearful,” Clarkstown School Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton said. “Regardless of the intention, our school administrators in partnership with the Clarkstown Police Department will investigate and ensure that there are swift and appropriate consequences both in our schools and through the legal system for those who choose to make threats of violence. Please take time to talk to your children about these issues and have open discussions about what they are reading on social media and hearing at school.”

The Clarkstown Police Department and the Clarkstown School District work together in these situations to ensure that the safety and well-being of all students and the community is paramount. Recent legislation throughout the country has enacted laws that make it a felony to make terroristic threats.  These threats, even when made as a “joke,” cause great stress, interfere with the educational process, and undermine the efforts put in place to protect our children.

“The Clarkstown Police Department, in partnership with our school administrators, have zero tolerance for any threats made for any reason. Such threats will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan said.

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