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Statement from Superintendent Monroe on arrest of BCHS student

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on September 25, 2019

The following message was emailed to families K-12 by Superintendent of Schools Jody Monroe on Sept. 25, 2019: 

Dear Parent/Guardian:

I am writing to inform you about the arrest today of a Bethlehem Central High School student by Bethlehem Police on a misdemeanor charge of Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree after the student allegedly circulated an email with the contents of an internet meme that included threatening language. The email was sent to all students at the high school and was a response to an email from another student.

The email exchange took place on Tuesday, September 24 and was reported to High School Principal Dave Doemel. Principal Doemel immediately contacted the police and the police began an investigation. Though the police investigation determined there was no imminent threat of violence, the student was charged with circulating false information of a potential threat of violence and causing public alarm.

The students and parents who alerted high school leaders to this email message are to be commended. I am calling on all parents, particularly of high school and middle school students, to have a discussion with students about the importance of speaking up.

As educators, we also work hard to explain to students the consequences that can occur when using threatening language in a school setting. This incident is an opportunity to remind your students about using good judgment on social media, through email and elsewhere. Students need to know that it is never acceptable to even joke about threatening others. Perceived threats are serious matters and will be pursued as such.

The school district, in its investigation, will follow disciplinary procedures in accordance with the school’s code of conduct.

We must work together to assure our students that maintaining a safe environment in our schools is, and always will be, our first priority.

As always, thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at jmonroe@bethlehemschools.org or by phone at 518-439-7098.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent of Schools