Last week, students and faculty at Sewanhaka High School were placed into the school’s shelter drill after serious threats were made online by a Sewanhaka High School student.
“On the afternoon, I instructed all teachers and staff to implement our shelter-in-place procedures due to a social media threat, which was brought to my attention by our clinical staff,” said Sewanhaka High School Principal Dr. Christopher Salinas in a letter sent to parents to debunk various rumors that were spread online that there was a firearm on school premises.
The high school’s shelter protocol outlines procedures that need to be followed when the school needs to keep students and staff in their present locations to limit movement within the building, and was developed by the state’s Department of Education with the assistance of statewide law enforcement agencies. Salinas immediately called Nassau County Police, who is a partner with the school on all safety protocols, to inform them.
“The student in question stated that the comments in the social media post were directed at others who were playing the online video game,” continued Salinas’ letter. “While it was determined that our students were not in any kind of danger, out of an abundance of caution, I increased the level of security in the school while the matter was being investigated.”
Salinas said that the school takes safety very seriously and practices emergency procedures on a monthly basis.
“Posts made on Twitter and social media, which occurred after the initial incident, were completely false and unfounded. The administration at Sewanhaka High School worked with the local law enforcement authority throughout the entire incident, as we do with any incidents that require emergency procedures to be enacted throughout the district. Appropriate interventions were conducted regarding this student at that time.”
Sewanhaka High School will continue to follow up on any online posts that occur after the incident. Parents can call Salinas if they have any more questions about the lockdown incident or the school’s safety concern.