Press release

In wake of school violence threats, Sullivan DA urges parents and students to exercise caution on social media

Posted 12/15/21

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Following a recent spate of social media postings by area students threatening violence at Sullivan County schools, District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan issued a stern …

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Press release

In wake of school violence threats, Sullivan DA urges parents and students to exercise caution on social media

Posted

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Following a recent spate of social media postings by area students threatening violence at Sullivan County schools, District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan issued a stern warning today: Don’t do it. She said her Office and the Village of Monticello Police Department, Town of Fallsburg Police Department, Village of Liberty Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police have been working around the clock to detect, intercept and prevent violence in our schools following multiple threats of mass violence. These investigations have moved forward with the full support of school superintendents throughout the County.

The individuals responsible for the posts have been identified and are potentially subject to criminal or delinquency charges and enforcement actions at school. The investigations determined that those who posted the threats were motivated by the sensationalism surrounding such social media posts rather than any actual plans to do harm at schools. Nonetheless, these teens are responsible for the terroristic threats they communicated and the alarm that ensued, including school closures and increased police presence at schools that did open today.

Galligan reminded parents and students that Sullivan County’s law enforcement community handles every threat against our schools seriously. Investigations do not stop with the students who post threats. “The horrific school shooting in Oxford is a stark reminder of how vigilant we as a community must be to keep our children safe,” Galligan said. “Prosecutors in Michigan have made it clear that these investigations can broaden where parents and others fail to act appropriately in the wake of threats, and that holds true in Sullivan County as well.”

Investigations into these local threats have included searches of homes, social media accounts, internet service providers, and telephone service providers. She thanked Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Apple, Spectrum, Charter, Google, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other internet, data and communication services for their immediate cooperation in these investigations and their commitment to keeping our schools safe.

“If you value your privacy, do not post threats against our schools,” Galligan said. “If you do not want to wake up to police at your door in the middle of the night, do not post threats against our schools. If you do not want to be taken to a police station for questioning, do not post threats against our schools. If you do not want to lose your privilege to go to school, do not post threats against our schools. If you do not want to risk being incarcerated or held at a detention facility, do not post threats against our schools.”

Galligan urged parents to have serious conversations with any of their children who have access to social media about the dangers of threatening any violence, and to continue to monitor any red flags they observe, including with respect to their kids’ mental health and access to weapons.

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