MOHAWK, N.Y.--The Village of Mohawk's police chief confirmed four Jarvis Middle School students have been charged in four different threats directed at the facility over the last two days.
Chief Joseph Malone said two separate threats were investigated Tuesday morning. Those threats caused a lockout and two students were charged with making a terroristic threat.
Tuesday afternoon, another student made a separate threat, prompting a lockout that extended past school hours.
Combined with the threat from Monday, four students in total are facing felony charges for making a terroristic threat.
Malone said none of the threats appeared to be connected and that all four students faced disciplinary actions from the school.
"They don't think that we're going to bring them into the criminal justice system for a Class D felony," Malone said. "They don't understand the disruption of the services the other students have. Mrs. Hoskey, the principal of Mohawk, said to the students 'If you think this is a joke or a hoax, do you think the students from [Park]land, Florida would think this is a joke?"
"This isn't a joke," Lawrence Brooks, a parent said. "We just had the shooting the other day, these kids have to learn that if parents aren't going to hold them accountable, the law has to."
The school released a new statement early Tuesday evening.
March 6, 2018
Statement from Central Valley School District concerning events at Jarvis Middle School
ILION, NY—Over the past two days, Jarvis Middle School experienced four separate threats against the school.
On the morning of Monday, Mar. 5, a student reported a threat that prompted a school lockdown. On the morning of Tuesday, Mar. 6, students reported two separate threats. In the afternoon of Tuesday, Mar. 6, a student reported a threat. Tuesday's threats resulted in a shelter-in-place and lockout in the morning and a second shelter-in-place and lockout at dismissal time.
In each case, law enforcement investigated and successfully identified the students responsible. They determined none of the threats were credible and the school's students and staff were safe.
Members of the Mohawk, Ilion, and Herkimer police departments, the New York State Police, and State Police K-9 units worked together to bring the investigations to successful ends.
Those involved are all middle school students. They have been referred to the courts.
"We will seek the appropriate consequences in these cases, but consequences alone will not solve the problem," said Central Valley School Superintendent Jeremy Rich.
"Equally important, we need to reach these students before this happens. We need to ramp up the proactive measures we currently take, including mental health awareness, counseling, and building healthy relationships to address students who may be drawn to this kind of behavior."
He credited school staff working with authorities to uncovering the truth in each case.
"Our teachers and counselors invest themselves daily in our students' lives, building relationships and trust. Those relationships are a big reason we close out this day, knowing our kids are safe," he said.
For more information, please contact Jeremy Rich, Central Valley Superintendent of Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org.