Threats af­fect Kingston schools, Ul­ster BOCES

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Free­man staff

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.

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