Albany County schools respond to rumors

Multiple districts report fears of incident on Dec. 21 unwarranted

— Several Albany County school districts have dispelled rumors circulating about an incident to occur on Friday, Dec. 21.

Statements have been released by school officials from Bethlehem, North Colonie, Guilderland and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School Districts this past week in reference to rumors being spread by students about a possible incident to happen before winter break. All four districts have had local police look into the matter, and have said no evidence has been found to support the claims.

Coeymans police and RCS administrators first released a statement on Monday, Dec. 17. Officials said the rumor allegedly began two weeks ago after some students were overheard discussing the Second Amendment and changes to gun ownership laws. A third student heard a portion of the conversation, resulting in a game of “telephone.”

Local law enforcement investigated the matter and after interviewing students felt there was no immediate threat. However, in wake of the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn., Superintendent Alan McCartney and Coeymans Chief of Police Gregory Darlington made themselves available to answer questions. RCS High School Principal Brian Bailey also requested that a uniform patrol officer be stationed outside of the building for the final week of school before break.

“ As a school district, we will continue to work to prevent any type of incident by training our faculty and staff to detect problems before they occur,” said McCartney. “In this modern world our teachers and counselors are always on the lookout for the potential student who may seek to harm him or herself or others. We are taking every possible action to prevent bullying and reduce incidents that could result in violence.”

The district is now reviewing its safety plans and looking into installation of additional security systems, such as door buzzers, at each building.

BCSD released a similar statement on Tuesday, Dec. 18, with GCSD following suit the next day.

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