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Local News

January 18, 2013

Two area schools react to threats


In the letter, Hebert asks anyone who did not receive both calls to call network systems coordinator Mark LaValley at 547-1056. The system will be tested 6 p.m. Monday. Any changes should be made before that.

A parent of an eighth-grader, who asked only to use her first name, Anna, said she got a call at 2:30 p.m. making her aware of the situation. Another call came at 5 p.m. to say it was resolved.

“Until then we had no knowledge that there was a situation,” Anna said. “I understand they don’t want to scare people who might rush down to the school. But we should have that option. There should have been better communication,” she said. “The situation at Newtown has brought it home that children are not necessarily safe when they go to schools. We’re not sure they are going to come home.”

At Sidney Central School, a note was sent Friday to parents saying that during a high school lunch period that day, seven .22 caliber shells were found on the cafeteria floor and given to a school administer.

“There was no reason to believe there was anything malicious about it,” Superintendent Bill Christensen said. Older students found the shells and it was quickly determined who had sat in that area previously and they were interviewed. Officials believe someone may have forgotten to take the shells out of a backpack that was brought to school, and they fell on the floor, he said. There was no weapon involved. The shells shouldn’t have been there and the principal took appropriate action, Christensen said. There were consequences but because they involved students, he could not say what that entailed.

“Everyone is much more diligent following Newtown,” he said. The Sidney plan was reviewed following the Connecticut incident, and it was found to be thorough, he said. If there was any reason to believe there was a threat, “we would have responded.”

Since Newtown, a lot more potential problems are getting reported and there are more people in the hallways.

“We are looking for ways to improve that, short of no backpacks and metal detectors,” he said. “You have to keep it in perspective.”




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