BOONVILLE- The threatening message that sent all Adirondack Central School students home early Wednesday suggested that there were bombs planted throughout the district and they would go off a few hours later.
That’s the latest from Superintendent of Schools, Kristy McGrath. She emphasizes that this threat appears to have been a “swatting” incident, a tactic used to disrupt schools and events.
“These situations are inexcusable. They are disruptive and cause fear,” Superintendent McGrath said. “The District will cooperate and support the Sheriff's Office and FBI in any way we can to determine and prosecute the offender(s).”
Adirondack was not the only school exclusive to this incident, as five other districts received the same message the same day, though most were located down in the Hudson Valley.
No other local schools that we are aware of received the same threatening message this time around.
Superintendent McGrath would like to thank everyone for their cooperation.
Read Superintendent McGrath's full statement below:
I want to share with you all further information on what took place today. At 10:57 AM, one staff member at Adirondack received a concerning email. As soon as this person saw the message, they immediately contacted me. The email contained information indicating that bombs were in our schools, and a timeframe was given stating they would blow up a few hours later. There were a total of 6 districts that received the message, including Adirondack. None of the other schools were local, and examples include Addison CSD, Peekskill City SD, and Ossining Union Free School District. My suspicion is that Addison and Adirondack have the bad luck of being the first two schools in the state alphabetically, and that may be why they were selected.
I contacted the Oneida County Sheriff's Office immediately, and our protocols for addressing a bomb threat were followed. Although we believed the threat to be a false, swatting incident, we continued to treat the situation as a true threat. All four Adirondack buildings were put in a hold in place, so that the buildings could be "swept" through. In addition, multiple law enforcement agencies were dispatched to each school building, including the Oneida County Sheriffs, Lewis County Sheriffs, NYS Troopers, and Utica Police K-9. In addition, five bomb sniffing dogs were dispatched to Adirondack.
A dismissal plan was put into place, to send students and staff home early, out of an abundance of caution. All four schools (the High School, Middle School, Boonville Elementary and West Leyden Elementary) have been thoroughly searched, as well as the bus garage. The threat has been determined to be non credible. We anticipate opening normally tomorrow. Our schools are closed to everyone for the rest of tonight. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office, in collaboration with the FBI, will take the lead on investigating this incident.
As you know, swatting incidents like this happened in the spring. Here we are in the first weeks of a new school year, with it happening to us. These situations are inexcusable. They are disruptive and cause fear. The District will cooperate and support the Sheriff's Office and FBI in any way we can to determine and prosecute the offender(s).
I also would like to thank everyone for your cooperation in this matter. Students, parents, and staff did a remarkable job adapting to this situation, and I am grateful to work with each of you. I also would like to extend a huge thank you to all law enforcement personnel who assisted. If you have any further information or questions, I am always willing to communicate with you. Please email me or call me at any time.
Adirondack Central School District
Adirondack CSD image.