Interim Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Korostoff has issued the following statement in response to our story yesterday: New Rochelle High School Threatened for Third Time But No Evacuation
CSDNR STATEMENT ON PHONE THREATS AT NRHS AND OVERALL SCHOOL SAFETY
To the New Rochelle Community:
During the past two weeks, information has been circulating about threatening telephone calls being received by New Rochelle High School. The receipt of two such calls, on November 20 and December 2, led to the High School being evacuated while the New Rochelle Police Department conducted sweeps of the building to assess whether there was any actual danger. On November 20, because of the time of day of the evacuation and the nature of the sweep by the police department, the remainder of the school day at the High School was canceled. On December 2, once the District was assured by the Police Department that it was safe for everyone to return, our educational program resumed. It also has been reported that another telephone threat was received on December 3, for which the decision was made not to evacuate the building. The community should be assured that the Police Department was fully consulted on December 3, just as it had been consulted on December 2 and November 20. The Police Department advised that the circumstances of the December 3 call did not warrant another evacuation of the building for the second consecutive day.
All of these incidents presently are the subject of an active police investigation. We will not compromise that investigation by commenting on specific aspects of what is viewed as confidential information. We have every expectation that the Police Department, employing the full spectrum of resources uniquely available to it, will identify the caller or callers responsible for this disruption of our school and of the public tranquility in our community. Once identified, those responsible will be prosecuted.
The New Rochelle Police Department is and must be our partner in insuring the safety and security of our children and staff. School districts such as ours must rely upon the expertise of law enforcement agencies when deciding how to respond to threats or possible danger of any sort. This is what we have done, and will continue to do, whenever safety and security issues present themselves. In each instance in which a threatening call was received, the District has requested the recommendation of the Police Department on how to respond appropriately. Having received that recommendation, we have followed it in each instance.
We believe the entire community shares our concern that the instructional needs of our students and our entire educational program at the High School have been disrupted by the criminal acts which have occurred over the last two weeks. But let there be no doubt that the determination whether and when to interrupt the school day as a result of a telephone or other threat never will be taken by the District alone, without a thorough consultation with the Police Department and the ultimate recommendation of those who have the professional expertise on the subject of public safety.