Phony active shooter threats made against schools across the state, including Brighton and Brockport
Parents of students at Brighton High School on Thursday received an email from their superintendent shortly before noon notifying them that police had received a threat of an active shooter at the school — and determined it was a hoax.
That harrowing routine played out at several high schools across the state Thursday, including Brockport High School, according to law enforcement agencies. New York State Police referred to the episodes as “swatting incidents.”
“The State Police is aware of swatting incidents that have occurred across the state, in which a caller states that there is an active shooter in a school,” read a tweet from the State Police. “All of the reports are unfounded. We are working alongside our federal and local partners to investigate the threats.”
The threats appeared to copycat those that plagued schools across Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Utah in recent days, and came on the heels of phony bomb threats that disrupted instruction at Hilton High School last week.
Schools across New York, including Brighton, informed parents that they took precautionary measures with students while law enforcement conducted their investigations on their campuses.
“As soon as we were notified, a ‘shelter in place’ was called so that the threat could be confirmed as not credible,” wrote Brighton Superintendent Kevin McGowan. “Based on the information that was received, it was determined that a shelter in place was the most appropriate step.”
McGowan’s note lamented that other schools had endured similar disruptions, and invited parents to ask questions, comments, and thoughts on the matter.
“It is beyond discouraging that our school environment and the people in the school community would be put through the emotional turmoil and practical disruption that these situations create,” he wrote, adding, “We regret that this is a reality in our world today.”
Here is Brighton Superintendent Kevin McGowan’s message to parents in full:
Everyone is Safe, But We Have Important Information to Share
Dear Members of the School Community,
Earlier this morning, we were notified by law enforcement that a threat pertaining to an active shooter at Brighton High School had been received at the New York State Trooper Barracks. As soon as we were notified, a “shelter in place” was called so that the threat could be confirmed as not credible. Based on the information that was received, it was determined that a shelter in place was the most appropriate step to take. Law enforcement immediately arrived at BHS to conduct a sweep of the area as a precaution. Through their investigation, it was determined that the threat was not credible.
Again, law enforcement officials have confirmed that the threat was, as assessed, not at all credible. We appreciate everyone’s patience with the disruption to services and the cooperation of students and staff as procedures needed to be followed in the best interest of the school community.
Schools across the region and state experienced a similar scenario this morning. It is beyond discouraging that our school environment and the people in the school community would be put through the emotional turmoil and practical disruption that these situations create. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement and our safety committee to prevent, respond, and follow-up. The safety of everyone is always our first priority. We regret that this is a reality in our world today and welcome your questions, comments, and perspectives. Please reach out to me or your principal directly and we’d be happy to follow-up.