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Statement on arrest of student making graffiti threat

Filed in District by on February 13, 2020

On February 13, 2020, the following message was emailed to all BCHS families by Superintendent Jody Monroe:

Dear BCHS Parent or Guardian:

I am writing to inform you about the arrest today of a Bethlehem Central High School student after it was alleged the student had made threats of violence against the school with graffiti that was written on a bathroom wall at the school. The graffiti was reported at approximately 10:30 a.m. to a teacher who then reported the incident to administrators. The school contacted the police immediately.

The Bethlehem Police Department identified the alleged perpetrator quickly following an investigation at the school. The police found there was no credible threat related to the incident.

The student has been charged with one felony count of making a terroristic threat and one misdemeanor count of making graffiti. The school district is cooperating with the police department in its investigation, which is ongoing. Following the arrest, the student was transported to Albany County Court Youth Part where the case will be handled.

Our number one priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of every student, and we will take any action necessary to make sure our students and staff feel safe at school. The school district has requested the Bethlehem Police Department provide an increased police presence at the school tonight and tomorrow.

Please know that threats of violence of any kind will not be tolerated in the Bethlehem Central School District. Any student who makes such a threat will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, any student found to be making such threats will be subject to discipline under the district’s Code of Conduct.

As I have done in the past, I am calling on parents to have an important discussion with students about reporting any incident of threatening behavior to trusted adults. The Bethlehem Police Department operates a Confidential Tip Line at 518-439-1503 for school and community use year-round. The tip line provides a way to report someone who may be exhibiting signs of dangerous behavior, to themselves or to others. These include suspicious activity, threatening statements, actions that are out of the ordinary or statements that are out of the ordinary.

Additionally, parents, students, and community members can always share information with any school administrator or school employee, who are trained to follow appropriate reporting protocols. If you see something or hear something, say something.

We will do all that we can to work with you to ensure that a safe environment in our schools is, and always will be, our first priority.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent of Schools