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Backpack search leads to lockdown

Scotia-Glenville High School went into lockdown Monday morning when the search of a student's backpack turned up a World War II-era grenade shell, a fuse and an 8-inch long knife.

At this time, we have no reason to suspect that these weapons were going to be used to harm anyone, however our investigation is still being conducted, said Glenville Police Chief Mike Ranalli.

Early Monday, staff questioned a 15-year-old freshman male after he was reportedly behaving incoherently. Following ques-tioning, another freshman male was brought in, and his backpack was searched, which is when the grenade shell, fuse and knife were found.

The school was in lockdown for about 90 minutes, starting at about 11:30 a.m. Students and staff were not allowed to leave their classrooms.

Ranalli said investigators do not yet know where the student obtained the weapons. The student in whose backpack the weapons were found will face two charges, one for criminal possession of a weapon " the hand grenade " and another for unlawful possession a weapon under the age of 16 " for the knife. His case will be handled in Family Court.

District communications director Bob Hanlon said the students brought in for questioning have been suspended for at least five days pending a superintendent's hearing.

Vice principal Robert Cosmer said that the individual who was originally questioned for his strange behavior told staff he had taken several prescription Ambien pills, a sleep aid. The student then said that he was wearing his friend's pants, leading to school officials to call in the student with the backpack. Hanlon said it is unclear at this point why the students were wearing each other's pants or if either student has a prescription for Ambien.

A letter from Cosmer was sent home to parents describing the incident and the security measures taken.

"At this point we have received questions about metal detectors. I don't think that is something we are looking into right now," said Hanlon.

Assistant Superintendent Joe Kavanaugh said although the school is not taking such measures at this time regarding security, the incident would still be taken very seriously.

"The district has always been and remains committed to the safety of our students," said Kavanaugh.""

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