RAVENA — The Albany County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Ravena Coeymans Selkirk High School student’s online threat against several fellow students.
According to a statement shared by school administrators, the online threat included a list that named specific students at the high school. The district soon contacted those families directly RCS High School Principal Dr. Lisa Patierne shared in a statement emailed Wednesday, June 8.
“We take any and all threats very seriously here at RCS, as the safety of our students and staff is paramount to ensuring a successful learning environment,” she stated. “We ask that families take a moment to remind students that threats have no place in school or the community. The legal repercussions of issuing threats may be extremely serious, and such actions will not be taken lightly.”
“School officials immediately began investigating this report with the assistance of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office,” she stated. “The school has addressed this issue through the student code of conduct, and law enforcement will continue any further investigation.”
The school principal said the district was notified of the online threat that afternoon. The school started an investigation along with the sheriff’s office before notifying families.
District Superintendent Brian Bailey said he was thankful that the threat was quickly reported, allowing law enforcement to promptly investigate. In a separate email, he reminded RCS families that Albany County Sheriffs “are a constant presence in our schools.”
“As a reminder, the Albany County Sheriffs are a constant presence in our schools, both through our School Resource Officers and also through regular patrols of our campuses and community,” he said. “In addition, all RCS Schools have secure entrances, exterior doors are locked, and students and staff perform training and safety drills throughout the year.”
Following the threat, the district gathered its crisis response team to discuss support for students and staff. Social workers, psychologists, and counselors are available for any student or staff member who needs someone with whom to speak.
The superintendent asked families to remind students to report anything suspicious to a trusted adult, administration, or law enforcement officer. In a morning address to high school students, the school’s resource officer said acts of recent violence across the country have been preceded by online threats. The school principal quoted the officer in an email to parents on Friday.
“When you tell us information regarding a safety concern it can potentially save people’s lives,” the officer said. “Some students came forward and I was truly appreciative of the information they brought to me. It was really, really important. I can’t express how crucial it is for people to come forward when they have information that can be a threat to someone’s life, whether it is harm to themselves or others.”
As of Friday, the investigation was still ongoing.