NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle police are investigating a threat made yesterday to a family with children in two New Rochelle elementary schools.
The threat was made in a letter marked "resident" and sent to a household in the Jefferson Elementary school district with a return address of Jefferson School in an attempt to indicate the letter was an official school mailing which it was not.
The threat was printed on graphic images and included a threat to kidnap the two children, sources say.
There is no known connection to letters, heretofore unreported, sent to school district employees over the past several weeks.
In the letters, half a dozen or more female administrators of the New Rochelle school district have been the target of crude, sexually explicit letters. The envelopes containing those letters included a return address of City Hall in New Rochelle, NY.
School District and Police officials met with the family today to develop a plan to provide for the safety of their children and beef up security at the two schools where the children attend, Jefferson Elementary and Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center.
School officials intend to increase supervision at recess and more rigorous child pick-up/drop-off procedures.
Parents are encouraged to cooperate with school officials.
The principals at the two schools, Kimmerly Nieves at Jefferson and Joanna Genovese at Barnard, prepared coordinated communications sent at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday to parents with children at the two schools.
Good Afternoon Parents,
This is a very important message. Please listen carefully.
Yesterday afternoon, a Jefferson family received an extremely disturbing letter in the mail. The anonymous author of the letter threatened to kidnap and harm the children of this family. The police have been contacted and they are working with the family. This incident is a reminder to all of us that we must work together as a community to keep our children safe.
As a precaution, we have increased security during the school day. We are also educating our students about what to do if they are approached by strangers. Please ensure that only authorized adults are picking up your children after school. Whenever there is a change in who will be picking up your child, you must send in a letter with your child.
As always, your child’s safety is our priority at Jefferson/Barnard.
Wednesday New Rochelle police officers were deployed to stand post with crossing guards near Jefferson Elementary School. Today, officers were deployed to several elementary schools, including Jefferson and Barnard during the morning drop-off period.
A general announcement to the entire community was prepared last night and released this morning by Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff.
SAFETY ALERT TO OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY
We learned today that a letter was delivered by the postal service yesterday (May 13) to a New Rochelle family with children in our public schools. This letter threatened harm to their children. The family and I met with the Police Commissioner today as well as with the Detective assigned to this case. It is important to let residents know that the handwritten return address on the envelope was the name and address of one of our schools. It was intended to indicate that the letter was an official school mailing. Clearly, it was not.
The New Rochelle Police Department advises anyone who receives a suspicious letter with the return address of any of our schools to phone them immediately at (914) 654-2300. There is an active police investigation into this matter.
Thank you for your vigilance and assistance in keeping our children safe.
Interim Superintendent of Schools
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the General Investigations Unit of the New Rochelle Police Department at 914-654-2300.