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BREAKING NEWS: Multiple Shooter Threats Called Into Local Schools
By Martin Wilbur
Shooting threats that have turned out to be hoaxes were reported at multiple school districts in Westchester and Putnam counties Thursday morning, forcing school officials and law enforcement to take quick action.
The Examiner received calls, texts and e-mails that after 9 a.m. there had been calls to Pleasantville, Horace Greeley, Putnam Valley, and Brewster high schools that were apparent swatting incidents – fake calls of shootings at multiple schools in order to get a police response and cause fear. White Plains schools also noted an incident in Yonkers.
Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville said the calls are being investigated, and extra patrols have been dispatched throughout the county to ensure the safety of students and faculty.
“Currently, there is no threat to any of our schools,” McConville said in a statement. “All schools are in session, and we are out there to protect the children, teachers and staff of our schools.”
Putnam Valley Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Luft issued a statement to the community.
“Out of an abundance of caution, after the high school was cleared, our elementary and middle schools were asked to do a ‘hold in place,’ and law enforcement has now completed an inspection of all of our school buildings including all buildings on our elementary school campus,” he said. “Classes will resume as scheduled.”
Luft said law enforcement believes this to be a bogus threat to multiple area schools.
A source told The Examiner that police were combing each classroom at Pleasantville High School, and an eyewitness reported seeing Westchester County police cruisers blocking off the entrance to the building.
Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua was placed in lockdown, and it was similarly determined the threat was not credible, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Ackerman said in a statement to the community.
“It is likely more of these incidents will take place in our region,” White Plains Superintendent Dr. Joseph Ricca stated in an email to the school community.
There have been published reports of similar swatting calls on Tuesday and Wednesday to schools across Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, respectively. ￼
On Monday, three students and three staff members were killed at a shooting at a school in Nashville.
The Examiner will continue to monitor the situation and report updates as they become available.
Correction: An earlier version of this piece said there was an incident in White Plains but there was no swatting incident in that district. The superintendent did alert the school community about issues at other local schools. This article was updated at 12:28 p.m. on Mar. 20. We regret the error.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/