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May 18, 2013

Two schools lock down after threats

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Threats at Delaware Academy and Walton Central schools Friday afternoon resulted in safety measures being taken. No incidents occurred, but the investigations are continuing, officials said.

Delhi Police Chief Michael Mills said the events did not appear to be related but it was too early to be certain.

The incident at Delhi started after school officials were notified of a general threat on an Internet message board against the school Friday afternoon, officials said. The school went on lockdown and the police were contacted, arriving soon after, at about 1:50 p.m., according to a media release from Delhi police.

With the assistance from state police, Delaware deputies and SUNY Delhi Police secured and searched the campus. When it was deemed to be safe, the lockdown ended and students were dismissed at about 3 p.m.

The incident remains under investigation, but classes will be held Monday, Mills said. Anyone with information pertaining to the investigation is asked to contact Delhi police at 746-2249.

Because the investigation is not complete, and to ensure student safety, the prom that was scheduled for Saturday is postponed until June 1, Superintendent Jason Thomson said. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure student safety Monday morning, he said.

The other incident occurred at Walton, where Townsend Elementary School, which normally follows lockout procedures, had already taken extra security measures, including a police presence. This was based on an unsubstantiated Facebook threats to a parent and child, according to a school media release.

At about 1 p.m., Walton police spoke to the district about additional Facebook postings that referenced the Townsend Elementary School and used the word “shooting."

At 2 p.m. the high school followed lockout procedures, and police were present at all schools during dismissal to ensure safety. All after-school activities were canceled. School will re-open Monday with additional police presence, Walton Interim Superintendent George Mack said.

Walton police did not return a call for comment.

The incidents briefly affected students at Franklin Central School, where students were just starting to leave, when the school was notified by a parent of the incidents at Delhi and Walton. Students were brought back to the school, which was put on lockdown and lockout to ensure safety,

Superintendent Gordon Daniels said Delaware deputies were contacted, and after they provided assurance that Franklin students were not affected, dismissal resumed after a 15-minute delay.