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Snapchat message sent by VVS High School student deemed not a threat

Oneida County Sheriff's investigators are called in the middle of the night to look into a Snapchat message sent by a VVS High School student.

Posted: Dec 10, 2018 6:24 PM

Verona, N.Y. - A Snapchat message sent out by a VVS High School Student on Sunday didn't sit well with a fellow student, and as a precaution that student notified authorities.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says investigators from his department looked into the case in the overnight hours Monday morning and deemed the message not a threat and subsequently school opened as normal throughout the district, "We received a third-party report, not from the person who sent it but someone who saw it. It was a post that was concerning in nature to them, they in turn notified the sheriffs office. Immediately when we got there in the middle of the night, our deputies commenced an investigation, interviewed all the parties involved along with notifying school officials about our investigation."

VVS Central Schools Superintendent Martha Group sent out a message to parents at 7:00 A.M. stating that the person who posted the threat would not be at school for the day and that Oneida County patrols will be at schools throughout the day as a precautionary measure.

Maciol says every instance of a potential threat must be treated the same, "We were able to determine before sunrise that the threat was not credible, but it still concerned a lot of people, so we followed our normal protocol, notifying the school, they internally notified the parents."

VVS Central Schools Director of Communications Sondra Whalen told News Channel 2 late Monday afternoon that the district did not see a spike in absentees on Monday as a result of the letter from the superintendent sent to parents. Whalen says it turned out to be a fairly normal day in the district. When asked if the student faced disciplinary action, she said she couldn't discuss any disciplinary action against students.

As far as what the actual message said, Maciol is not releasing it, and he is not even calling the post a threat, "The person reported seeing a concerning post on social media, that's probably the better way to describe that."

Maciol added, as soon as someone views a Snapchat message that, it goes away, "A word of caution to everyone out there, even though you think it’s disappeared then, it may not be visible at that level, but the labs that we utilize and the technology that’s out there today, once you hit that button, if you think it’s deleted, it’s not."

Maciol says this case is closed, no charges will be filed.

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