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May 20, 2013

Police to patrol schools after threats

Police will be present at public schools in Delhi and Walton today as a precaution in the aftermath of last week’s online threats, school officials said Sunday.

Jason Thomson, superintendent of Delaware Academy in Delhi, and George Mack, interim superintendent at Walton Central School, said law enforcement authorities have cleared school premises as safe, but police will be present.

Both districts communicated through emails or automated calls Sunday night to parents and staff to provide updates on procedures today.

The Walton Police Department and the Delhi Police Department, as lead agencies, continue investigations started Friday within their respective jurisdictions, the superintendents said.

The Delaware Academy Central School District has about 775 students, Thomson said.

The incident Friday afternoon at Delhi started after school officials were notified of a general threat on an Internet message board against the school. The school went on lockdown until law enforcement deemed premises safe, and students were dismissed about 3 p.m. Delhi’s prom set for Saturday was rescheduled to June 1.

About 1,000 students attend schools in Walton, Mack said. The district’s Townsend Elementary School and O’Neill High School followed lockout procedures Friday afternoon after an unsubstantiated threat on Facebook.

“It’s important to say that there are no substantiated threats,’’ Mack said in his memo to the district. “The schools are safe.”

However, police will be at the school buildings and in the area today, Mack said, and normal procedures will return as appropriate.

Thomson also said the safety of students and staff is the priority. “I will not compromise that,” he said.

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