VVS School works to ease fears, curb misinformation

Six police cars, several officers and the Sherrill Police Chief were at VVS Schools Friday. They weren't there in response to a threat, but, rather, parents' and students' fear and anxiety over a situation that evolved on Thursday.

Posted: Feb. 16, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 5:46 PM

Six police cars, several officers and the Sherrill Police Chief were at VVS Schools Friday. They weren't there in response to a threat, but, rather, parents' and students' fear and anxiety over a situation that evolved on Thursday.

As school got underway Thursday, students and parents reported a threat on social media to school officials. A principal greeted the school bus and escorted the student in question directly to his office, searched the student, his bag and locker. No weapon was found. What was discovered was a video blog, or, 'vlog', that the student, a hunter and hunting enthusiast, had created. In it, he is depcited holding a rifle. The photo bears the caption, "It's going to be powerful...?!?" Superintendent Martha Group says NY State Police investigated, finding a history of similar, hunting-themed videos and pictures, but no threat to the school or any person.

"I'm confident with that and I'm confident around the state police investigation. That's their work, that's their job and i think they certainly are trained in looking for patterns of behavior. There was no plan, there's no record of any plan. There was nothing in the home," says Group. "The family was supportive of us sharing more details than we would normally share of a specific student circumstance and again is very disturbed by the anxiety this has caused across the community."

Group says the family and student willingly removed the pictures and videos in question and also removed the legally-possessed guns from their home. There's no school next week, due to mid-winter recess. Superintendent Group says the student will return to school the Wednesday of the following week, when a parent can bring him.

"I think it took on a life of its own, and I certainly can appreciate that in light of what had happened in Florida. Everybody was anxious and on high alert in the community," said Group.

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