Parent Letter October 25

Dear Oneida Parents, Guardians and Caregivers, 

After the events of the weekend and the perceived threat to our school on social media, I understand that many of you have concerns about your child’s safety.  First, thank you for placing your trust in us and sending your child to school today. I assure you that their safety is our priority. The Schenectady Police have assured us that there is no credible risk or threat to your children or our school.   

It’s important for you to know how situations like this are handled and the stream of communication that takes place throughout the process.  When we learned about the threat that was circulating on social media, our administration immediately contacted the police.  The Schenectady Police responded immediately and launched an investigation.  It was at this point that district administration issued a phone call and sent a communication to all families in the district, letting you know that we are aware of the threat and that police are involved.  I was in communication with the district team throughout this process and throughout the weekend. 

When any situation is turned over to the police, the district must follow the guidance provided by police.  Oftentimes, that means not all details can be shared immediately.  It might be because it will impact the investigation, or it might be because the person behind it is a young person.   The district communicated with staff and all families each time new information was provided that could be shared even as the investigation underway. 

Yesterday afternoon, the police reported that they identified the person who posted the threat on social media and that law enforcement was taking appropriate action.  The person behind the threat was identified as a juvenile; therefore, the police will not release the person’s identity.  The police did however explain what they had learned from the investigation.  The person had taken content from a TikTok video and changed it.  They created a fake account and made the post look like a threat to Schenectady.  New York State Police were also involved because these fake accounts with copied and modified posts, had been circulating in different areas around the state.   Police reported back that they conducted a thorough investigation and determined that it was not a credible threat and that the person did not intend to take any action or cause physical harm.   

There are serious consequences to making threats such as these even when there is no intent to follow through.  The police are handling their end of it and the district will enforce the code of conduct (which does apply to social.   

Following the investigation, the police offered assurance that there was no credible threat to Oneida or any of our schools, and that school could open today.   The district communicated this information to staff and families. 

It’s difficult letting our children out of our sight at any time, so I certainly understand your concern when something of this nature happens.  Please know that we would not put your child at risk.  

Please talk with your children about this as well as what they might post on social media.  Let your child know that nothing is anonymous and whenever they post something, it can always be tracked.  Making a threat is never considered a joke and has serious consequences.    

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We are partners in your child’s education and we will work through this together.  If your child is struggling, is afraid or needs additional support, please let us know.   

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Tony Farina
Principal
Oneida Middle School

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.