Police swept New Rochelle High School Monday afternoon for security risks following three incidents that local authorities investigated as potential "threats," officials say.
The security sweep, along with bag checks in the day ahead, are part of the response being made out of an abundance of caution, overshadowing what are usually a joyful final days of school.
According to a letter from the school superintendent to parents:
- On May 23, graffiti in a school bathroom was found reading “we are gonna shoot the school up June 5”
- On June 1, a similar graffiti message was also discovered in a bathroom on campus
- On Sunday, June 3, parents reported a Snapchat post that appeared to contain a threat — but police say further investigation showed it was referencing the earlier graffiti sightings
Campus security is especially top of mind at the 3,500-student school, not just given a rise in school shootings nationally, but recent tragedies in the community: in January, 16-year-old Valaree Schwab was stabbed to death by a fellow student off campus; additional fights and acts of student-on-student violence have led to community members calling on police and school officials to take more safeguards when it comes to student safety.
Tuesday's attendance will be limited only to students scheduled for final exams and preparing for end-of-year tests.
"That just freaks me out on so many levels," said parent Eve Federman. "Going to school should not be a security threat to a child's life."