Hello Watkins Glen School Community!
I hope this message finds you happy and healthy and enjoying the early stages of the holiday season!
On June 23, 2022, I communicated with the WG School Community regarding a threat of violence that took place against our School District. In that message, I expressed my gratitude for the many agencies that assisted the District on that challenging day.
Due to the location of the call/phone number, the lead agency in the investigation of the threats against our School was the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In late July, we received and update from the FBI, indicating that they had a solid lead on the offender in this case, but the investigation remained ongoing.
Last week, I received a call from the FBI Office in Corning. They indicated that the investigation was over, and they had positively identified the offender at his residence in Virginia. They conducted a thorough search of the offender's physical and digital property, and they determined that he was not a threat. After further interrogation, it became clear that the threatening phone call was the product of a dare initiated by teenagers passing through Schuyler County.
What We Know:
- As a result of the offender’s age, federal charges cannot be filed in this case.
- As of result of the offender’s state of residence and his age, New York State charges cannot be filed in this case.
Despite the challenges regarding accountability, this is a good thing for the following reasons:
- We have closure. We now know that the threat was a prank.
- From the U.S. Department of Justice to the Watkins Glen Police department, we know that our law enforcement agencies take school safety seriously. As a reminder, on the day of the threat, our District had multiple police agencies on site in less than a minute.
- We know that threats like this are taken seriously.
- We know that offenders who hide behind mobile phones and modern technology can be caught.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Special Agents from the Corning office of the FBI who worked diligently to bring a swift conclusion and closure to this case. To our local first responders, thank you for all that you continue to do for our school community.
Future safety drills are scheduled that will reflect the lessons learned from June 23, 2022.
If you have questions, feel free to reach out to your child’s main office.
Watkins Glen Central School District
Superintendent of Schools