Threats affect Kingston schools, Ulster BOCES
Three schools in the Kingston school district and the Ulster BOCES campus in Port Ewen took precautionary measures Wednesday, including the evacuation of Kingston High School students to the adjacent Kate Walton Field House, due to various threats, according to school and police officials.
At Ulster BOCES, a note “indicating that a bomb had been placed in the building” was discovered about 9 a.m., and the site was placed in lockdown, BOCES said in a press release. A short time later, the site was evacuated at the request of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office so a search could be conducted with bomb-sniffing dogs, BOCES said.
An “all clear” was declared about 11:15 a.m., and students and staff were allowed back inside, BOCES said.
At Kingston High School, an unspecified “safety threat” that was related to the BOCES threat, was received at 8:47 a.m. Wednesday, Kingston Police Detective Lt. Thierry Croizer said.
Croizer said students were moved from the school to the field house while the threat was investigated.
He would not describe the nature of the threat but said additional information might be provided Thursday.
A statement issued by the Kingston school district about 1 p.m. said the high school was declared safe by city police “after a thorough and extensive search” and that students were “resuming their normal class schedule.”
Also in Kingston, J. Watson Bailey Middle School and Harry L. Edson Elementary School, which are adjacent to each other, were placed in a “precautionary lockout” early Wednesday because of a “suspicious person in the area,” the school district said on its website.
“The lockout ... did not disrupt any classes and was only in place for a short time,” Superintendent Paul Padalino said. “We were informed by KPD (the Kingston Police Department) that there was [a] suspicious person in the area, and the principals chose to take this precautionary action.”
The Bailey and Edson lockouts were put in place about 8:45 a.m., police said.
Padalino said a lockout “recovers all students from outside the building, secures the building perimeter and locks all outside doors.”
On its website, the school district said: “Whenever a possible threat to safety is received, all precautionary measures are taken. The Kingston City School District is following our standard safety procedures.”
BOCES Superintendent Charles V. Khoury said threats like Wednesday’s “not only cause concerns for safety, but they also waste valuable resources.”
A bomb threat last week at Onteora Middle-High School in Boiceville led to a 14-year-old student being charged with falsely reporting an incident. That threat was made in the form of a note in a bathroom.