MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. - The Mount Pleasant Central School District was on high alert and police beefed up patrols after a Thornwood teenager issued potentially threatening verbal comments at Westlake High School and on social media, warning students not to go to class on Friday.
According to Mount Pleasant Schools Superintendent Susan Guiney, after learning about the alleged threats from some of his classmates, the high school administration met with the student, his parents and the Mount Pleasant Police Department.
Following that meeting, a letter and news link was disseminated to the community to alert them of the situation at the high school.
Citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Guiney said the district would be unable to discuss the case or student discipline, but said that parents can “rest assured that each and any potentially threatening comment or action by anyone in our schools is taken extremely seriously.”
“The district does not have access to students’ social media accounts; and as a district, we rely on each other to keep a vigilant eye on all that is occurring in our schools," the statement said. "Our high school students acted with maturity and responsibility regarding Monday’s particular concern.”
The nature of any potential threats remains unclear, though there were reportedly pictures of the student with guns and videos of him shooting target practice.
“Discussions that include rumors, inaccuracies and conjecture about events, other adults and especially other children, can create unintended stress and worry for a child or adolescent who is trying to navigate the adult world,” Guiney added. “At the high school, student assemblies are taking place to share appropriate information with students and to discuss ways to manage emotions and events. At the other school buildings, staff are available to speak with students who may come forward with a concern stemming from misinformation.”
Guiney noted that during the investigation, no one was in any danger, and that no weapons or any other students were involved. Following the alleged threats, the Mount Pleasant Police Department beefed up security on district campuses and increased patrols in the area.
“As we all hear over and over again, ‘if you see something, say something,’” the Mount Pleasant Police Department said in a statement following the alleged threats. “The Westlake High School principal commended the students that came forward within minutes of hearing something that made them feel uncomfortable. Within minutes, the principal contacted the (police department).”