ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca High School will have an increased police presence this week after a student made threats on Facebook to “shoot up” the school.

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The threat was made Saturday and reported to police at 3:48 p.m. that afternoon, said Officer Jamie Williamson, of the Ithaca Police Department.

He said the online threats were made against a specific student and the school. The threats stated that an assault-type rifle would be used to shoot students in the school’s cafeteria on Monday.

Williamson said there are officers patrolling the campus Monday morning and that there will bean increased police presence on campus all week.

In an email sent to parents, IHS administrators said students who saw the concerning conversation on Facebook told Principal Jason Trumble about the incident. The email states that school officials and police, “worked tirelessly this weekend to both investigate and keep our community safe.”

The student who made the threats will not be in school this week, administrators said in the email.

Williamson said the incident is still being investigated and that it is too early in the investigation process to determine whether charges will be filed against anyone.

“It’s certainly something the community should be concerned about whenever any member of our community make a threat of violence at the high school,” Williamson said. “Is it something that we think was well planned out and the plan was going to be carried out this morning? No, I don’t think it had reached that stage yet.”

The email sent out by the school can be read in its entirety below:

Hello Ithaca High School Families –

On Saturday, several Ithaca High School students engaged in a conversation on Facebook.  One student became upset and made a direct threat to another student followed by a threat of violence to the entire IHS community.  Several students who saw the threat reached out to Principal Trumble immediately with their concerns.  The Ithaca City Police Department is actively investigating and has taken the lead on the situation.  Law enforcement has indicated that they do not believe the student who made the threat poses an actual threat to the IHS community at this time.  Nonetheless, the student will not be in school during this week.  Accordingly, school will be opening on schedule tomorrow.  Both tomorrow and throughout the week, we will have an increased police presence on our grounds.

We have attempted to communicate the facts that are necessary to apprise you of this situation.  As we know you appreciate, we cannot, for the protection of individual students, disclose all the facts that would otherwise be helpful.  We want to commend the students who came forward with their concerns and information and the Ithaca Police Department and Ithaca High School Administration who have worked tirelessly this weekend to both investigate and keep our community safe. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our school safe.

Ithaca High School Administrative Team

Correction at 4:14 p.m. : The incident was reported to police Saturday, not Sunday as originally reported. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.