Sullivan County District Attorney Press Release

Sullivan County update on social media school violence threats

Posted 12/16/21

District Attorney Meagan Galligan updated the Sullivan County community on the status of the law enforcement investigations into multiple social media posts threatening violence in area schools this week

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Sullivan County District Attorney Press Release

Sullivan County update on social media school violence threats

Posted

MONTICELLO, NY — District Attorney Meagan Galligan updated the Sullivan County community on the status of the law enforcement investigations into multiple social media posts threatening violence in area schools this week.

While it has been determined that the students charged did not intend to carry out actual acts of violence, Galligan disclosed that multiple students from area schools have been arrested and charged with Making a Terroristic Threat. That charge, under State Penal Law, is a class D violent felony offense. "The intent of these students was to cause alarm and school closures rather than to actually physically hurt students, teachers and staff. Nonetheless, these threats are legally prohibited and these students will be held responsible and accountable for their actions in court."

Additionally, these students and others who were associated with the threats disseminated across social media face consequences at school up to and including expulsion. Galligan noted that, throughout these investigations, school superintendents across the county have completely cooperated with law enforcement and are committed to holding their students to high standards of conduct.

The disruption to schools and the investment of significant police and other resources may result in further actions against those involved in providing access or otherwise furthering the dissemination of threats of mass violence. "As we have seen nationwide, parents and those responsible for amplifying threats may be held responsible for the consequences of this behavior," Galligan said. She added that every legal remedy is being explored, including criminal and civil actions, as well as the possibility of lawsuits to recover restitution for costs relating to these investigations and shutdowns.

The investigations are ongoing and more arrests are expected. Police agencies serving the County, including the Village of Liberty Police, Village of Monticello Police, Town of Fallsburg Police, Sullivan County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police are jointly conducting these investigations together with the district attorney's office.

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