Voorheesville student charged with making a threat, third school arrest in six months

NEW SCOTLAND — A 12-year-old boy, a seventh-grader at Voorheesville Middle School, was charged at school with a misdemeanor for “a threat involving a weapon made against other students,” according to a release from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were called to the Voorheesville campus on Route 85A, which has both Clayton A. Bouton High School and Voorheesville Middle School, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, after the student said “he would shoot other students in the head if he was allowed to carry his book bag into the school,” the release said.

“There was absolutely no gun,” Voorheesville Superintendent Frank Macri told The Enterprise this week. “There was no immediate threat.”

Other students reported the 12-year-old’s threat to school administrators and their statements were taken alongside their parents or guardians, the release said.

The unnamed boy was arrested on the scene for making a threat of mass harm and taken to the sheriff’s patrol station, accompanied by his parents, without incident. He is scheduled to appear at Albany County Probation on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m.

Asked if the student was still in school, Macri said, “We are following our student code of conduct and discipline policy.”

In May, an 11-year Voorheesville Middle School student was charged with a felony for threatening to kill a classmate.

“We commend the students and community who came forward with information about a threat that was made from one student towards another student that led to a student arrest,” said a May 27 message from Macri posted on the district’s website at that time.

An April 29 incident had led to a 15-year-old Voorheesville student being charged with a felony for threatening to bring a gun into school and using it on classmates. The student had been speaking with other students when “another student heard the situation and brought it to the administration,” Macri said at the time.

No gun was found during a search of that student’s home, said Inspector J.T. Campbell of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, nor were any other weapons.

None of these three students were named because of their ages.

Police were also called to the middle school in March after a message in a school bathroom sent students and staff sheltering in place until police issued an all-clear.

The message, which said, “I have a gun,” according to Campbell, was found on a stall door at approximately 9:50 a.m. Police then swept the school with trained dogs and found nothing, Campbell said.

Asked this week what had happened to the 11-year-old and the 15-year-old who were each charged with felonies, Macri said he could not comment on student discipline matters.

Asked about the process the district uses to decide when to call the police as opposed to handling discipline in-house at the school, Macri said, “We call the police when there’s a threat.”

Police then investigate and make charges based on their findings.

Macri said, however, that, in deciding to call police, the school uses its judgment on what is said and how it is said. He gave the example of a 5-year-old on the playground saying “I hate you” to a classmate, which would not result in a call to police.

Macri also said that threats are taken seriously whether they are made “towards other individuals or self.”

Even if police are called, Macri said, “The school still goes through the discipline aspect.”

He concluded that, while the school works with law enforcement, it also works with social services and provides support like counseling when needed. 

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