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Sep 18, 2019 10:23 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Springs School Releases Statement With Local Police Departments About School-Related Incidents

Sep 18, 2019 10:53 AM

Springs School Superintendent Debra Winter, in conjunction with the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, East Hampton Village Police Department and East Hampton Town Police Department, issued a joint statement by email this week stressing the gravity of making statements that appear to threaten a school or its students or staff members.

Over the past few years, the statement said, school districts and law enforcement agencies have seen an increase such incidents, most of which turn out to be pranks.

However, until the source and nature of the reports is determined, the incidents are taken seriously and prioritized, the school and police officials noted.

Threatening statements will be handled in the same manner that comments about bombs and explosions are dealt with at airports, the letter warned. Statements made aloud, in written material, graffiti, posted on any kind of social media platform, or transmitted electronically over the phone about shootings, explosives, bombs or any other threat will result in a swift and thorough investigation, with the possibility of arrests and criminal prosecutions, the letter said.

“The letter should serve as a reminder to all students, parents and the community at large that there is a zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” it also said.

“The fact that the threat was a made as a joke or prank will not protect the individuals. Don’t joke around with your future,” the press release concludes.

According to Ms. Winter, the Suffolk County Police Department sent out a similar letter recently. Local police departments agreed that a reminder should go out to students, parents and the community at large, she said.

Ms. Winter said there was no particular incident that prompted her to send out the letter.

“Times are very different,” she said on Tuesday. “Statements or remarks regarding hurting yourself or others will be taken seriously. We can’t joke around. It’s unacceptable behavior.”

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