Oneida County Sheriff's Office investigating shooting threats at local schools

Oneida County Sheriffs Office is investigating threats made to the Camden School District. According to police, at this point, there is no threat to faculty and staff.

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 12:24 AM
Updated: Oct 25, 2021 5:30 PM

Shooting threats were made to at least three local school districts on social media over the weekend, but the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office does believe students are in any danger.

The threats were made to Camden, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and Oneida schools in separate messages that made their way to students, parents and faculty in each district. Authorities say the threats are not credible.

The authors of the messages claimed to have been bullied, and threatened shootings at each school at specified dates and times.

The sheriff’s office says the threatening messages are believed to be related to a similar post about an Oneida Middle School in Schenectady. Authorities have identified a 12-year-old suspect in that case.

According to the sheriff’s office, the account that posted the threat to Camden schools was not identified as a student in the district.

While all of the threats have been deemed unfounded, each affected district plans to have additional law enforcement on school grounds as a precaution.

The following was posted by VVS Sunday evening:

"Earlier today, October 24, 2021, we learned of a threatening message circulating on social media regarding VVS Middle School. A similar message is circulating regarding several schools in area and throughout the state. We have been working with local law enforcement as a part of their investigation. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department has advised us that the threat is unfounded. However we take all threats of this nature seriously. We will have additional law enforcement on site tomorrow to enhance our district safety protocols. If you or your child has concerns regarding this situation, please contact your child’s principal or school social worker. We appreciate your patience and support in providing a safe learning environment for all our children."

Oneida schools made a similar post Monday morning:

"We learned of a threatening message circulating on social media regarding Otto Shortell Middle School. A similar message is circulating regarding several schools in area and throughout the state. We have been working with local law enforcement as a part of their investigation. The Madison County Sheriff's Department at this point has deemed the threat is non-credible. However we take all threats of this nature seriously. We will have additional law enforcement on site throughout the week to enhance our district safety protocols. If you or your child has concerns regarding this situation, please contact your child's principal or school social worker. We appreciate your patience and support in providing a safe learning environment for all our children."

Camden Superintendent Ravo Root issued a statement during the school day Monday, saying all activities have been taking place as scheduled after the sheriff's office said the post did not pose a credible threat.

"Heightened security procedures have been in place throughout the day as precautionary measures and peace of mind for our students, staff members and parents. We will continue to follow our district and school safety plans and protocols to maintain the health and safety of students and staff in perpetuity. If a Camden student has any concerns, please direct them to see their school principal or social worker," said Root.

During the day Monday, New York Mills School District was also notified of threatening messages circulating on social media. They say authorities have determined the threats to be unfounded. 

The sheriff's office will continue to investigate over the coming days to ensure the safety of students and staff.

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