Police swarm Guilderland High after second bomb threat in a week

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair 

Police searched backpacks before allowing students in on Tuesday morning. About an hour after the start of the school day, the campus was placed on lockdown and students were asked to shelter-in-place. 

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland High School was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning because of a bomb threat, the second in one week. The school day proceeded after the lockdown was lifted at 9:30 a.m.

School officials announced, in an email alert sent out to parents at 7:07 a.m., that there had been a threat suggesting that explosive materials would be brought into the school on Tuesday. The high-school day begins at 7:30 a.m.

(Two students were arrested Nov. 29)

The threat also expressed concern that administrators would not take it seriously, Superintendent Marie Wiles said Tuesday morning at a press conference. It was received by high school Principal Thomas Lutsic shortly after 6 a.m., when he arrived at school and opened his email; it had been sent at about 5:45 Tuesday morning, Lutsic told reporters. Another administrator also received the threat, Wiles said.

Wiles said that “buses were already rolling” when the threat came in and that administrators needed to decide quickly how best to protect students and staff. She said that a decision was made to allow students in, but to search each student’s backpack at the door.

Wiles said she did not know if today’s threat came from the same person who sent a threat last week, but said that it was not from the same email account. Last Monday night an email was sent to Lutsic, warning of a bomb’s having been placed inside the school; administrators and police announced last week that it had come from a student’s school email account.

The threat last week was not sent by the student whose account was used, said Aubree Kammler, district communications specialist, on Tuesday morning, who added that police were still investigating who was behind it.

Ten Guilderland police cars and several Albany County Sheriff vehicles lined the entrance to the school Tuesday morning. As of 8:30, the school went into lockdown, with students sheltering in place. No one was allowed in or out.


The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair

A nose for danger: A Troy police officer called to the scene with his police dog approached the school Tuesday morning, to help search for explosives. A threat was emailed to the school in the morning, less than two hours before the start of the school day.


Students who had arrived late sat in idling cars with their parents; others lingered on the sidewalks near the school. Parents who had arrived having heard about the threat and hoping to pick up children had no choice but to wait outside.

Clusters of police and administrators talked at the front entrance and inside.The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on scene, Deputy Chief of the Guilderland Police Curtis Cox said at the press conference. Several police dogs were on the scene, including dogs from the sheriff’s office and the Troy Police Department.

Explaining the difference in the level of police presence this week and last, Cox said that police “have to take each threat based on the level of threat,” evaluating each one and contacting the resources needed.

Asked what kind of charges would await someone who made such threats, Cox said, “Serious charges. I’m sure they’re all felonies.”

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