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Gun incident at Liberty High School

April 18, 2013

On Thursday, April 18th at Liberty High School, a student was taken into police custody for bringing a weapon onto campus. The weapon was not used to threaten any individual; ammunition was not found in the weapon or in the possession of the student and no one was in danger during the incident. The student has been suspended as per district disciplinary policy.

The district will not tolerate violence, weapons - or the threat of weapons - in our schools.

Please be assured that supporting the safety, success and emotional welfare of our students remains the district's top priority. Ongoing counseling will be available through the school guidance offices for students in need.

A letter outlining the details of the event is attached, and will also be sent home with students on Friday, April 19. Please don’t hesitate to call the principal of your child’s school or Superintendent William Silver at 845-292-6990 if you have questions or concerns.

Dr. William Silver, Superintendent of Schools
April 18.2013

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of an incident that occurred at Liberty High School at approximately 12 noon on Thursday, April 18.

A parent, while visiting the high school, overheard a conversation between students about another student who had brought a weapon on the bus that morning. The parent immediately located and notified the school resource officer about the conversation, who in turn alet1ed Liberty High School Principal Jack Strassman.

The student was located, the weapon, a small revolver, was recovered and the student was taken into custody by the VilIage of Liberty Police. The weapon was NOT loaded and ammunition was NOT found in the possession of the student. At no time was any individual (student, staff, faculty, visitors) in danger,
approached or threatened by the student possessing the weapon.

The incident was a clear violation of district policy, which states that possession a weapon on school property is a violation and will result in immediate out-of-school suspension.

Further disciplinary action via the Superintendent's hearing process may also be considered.

The district policy is simple: We do not tolerate violence, weapons-or the threat of weapons-in our schools.

We want to assure you that supporting the safety, success and emotional welfare of our students remains the district's top priority. On-going counseling will be available through the school guidance offices for students in need.

While an incident of this nature can be alarming, it is also an opportunity to remind parents, students, and staff of the importance of maintaining a welcoming and secure learning environment.

If you or your child ever witness or hear about a weapon brought onto school property. please report the information to
building administrators immediately. Together, with a school community that is informed, alert and ready to act, we will continue to keep our students safe and our schools weapon free.

We recommend that you review-with your child-the district Code of Conduct and Student Handbook. A copy of these documents, which are sent home with every student in the fall, is available through the district website in the PUBLICATIONS AND FORMS Section ( or from each school's main office.

We will continue to maintain and enforce our zero-tolerance policy prohibiting weapons of any sort from being brought into our schools, onto school vehicles and/or to school sponsored events.

If you have any questions at all regarding this particular incident or school safety in general, please do not hesitate to contact your school principal or call my office at 845-292-6990.

115 Buckley Street, Liberty, New York 12754· Telephone (845) 292-6990 • Fax (845) 292-1164

From the Liberty Police Department

On Thursday April 18th 2013 the Village of Liberty Police Department arrested a 16 year old male after an investigation into a report of a student on school grounds being in possession of a handgun. At around 12:15pm an individual reported to the Liberty Police Department School Resource Officer that they thought a student on school grounds may have a handgun in his possession. The student was immediately located and a .32 caliber handgun was located in his locker.

The 16 year old male was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, both felonies. He was arraigned in the Town of Liberty Court and remanded to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $1,500 bail to return to the Town of Liberty Court on 04/25/13.

Chief Scott Kinne states that, “ Due to a terrific working relationship between the Liberty Central School District and the Village of Liberty Police Department, and having a police officer already on school grounds, this situation was able to be resolved safely within minutes. Once the School Resource Officer was made aware of the situation the police department and school were both able to act quickly and the suspect was placed in custody without incident and the firearm was recovered and secured within minutes”.