Dear Families and Staff:
Today, several 911 centers received swatting phone calls indicating an active shooter at local school districts. Ultimately, these threats proved to be false after investigations by law enforcement.
In response, Wynantskill initiated our emergency procedures including a lockout while law enforcement investigated. Several other schools also implemented lockouts due to these outside threats.
Please note that a lockdown is called when there is something dangerous inside a building while a lockout (or secure) occurs when there is something dangerous outside a building. This is an important distinction that changes the response of a building and law enforcement.
Swatting incidents are threats made with the purpose of triggering a police (or SWAT team) response to a particular address and creating mass fear and panic. The perpetrators often use computer-generated calls and caller-ID spoofing to disguise their numbers, which may be coming from outside of the country.
Several states have experienced similar swatting calls. Over the past two days, it has been reported that these calls have impacted schools in the Adirondacks, Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Central New York and Westchester in New York and Berkshire County in Massachusetts.
We know many of our families, students, and staff are understandably concerned about school safety, especially considering Monday’s shooting in Nashville. Please know that the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. We take all reports of threats seriously. We have developed plans for each of our buildings, including secured entryways, emergency drills, and relationships with law enforcement.
I want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation. While these threats are concerning, we ask that you please keep a sense of calm and cooperation. This is an opportune time to remind you of the importance of reporting anything out of the ordinary. As always, we will continue to ensure that our exterior doors and windows are secured and that we are screening all visitors at building entrances before letting them inside.