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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, Ocotober 27, 2011

Bomb threat proves a hoax

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — The high school was deemed safe last Friday morning after a bomb threat was found written on the wall of a boys’ bathroom.

“The noted named a kid, saying that kid was going to bring a bomb in,” said Brian Forte, the school resource officer and a member of the Guilderland Police Department.

The boy who was named had graduated from the high school, Forte said. “We sent an investigator to his house…He had no idea this was going on. We felt he wasn’t a threat…He gave us a couple of people that might be annoyed with him.”

When asked if the culprit had been found, Forte said, “Not yet.”

If found, the student could face an arrest for false reporting of an incident, or school discipline for violating the student code of conduct, “acting inappropriately,” said Forte — or both.

The high school typically has one or two bomb threats a year, said Forte; no actual bomb has ever been found.

After the note was discovered at 8:20 a.m., the school, at 8:25 a.m., used its emergency management plan, which Forte termed a “shelter in place” response.

He described the procedure this way: The school’s doors are locked and no one is allowed in the driveways. All classrooms are locked in place. Each teacher checks his or her own room for anything that looks suspicious. Meanwhile, police officers and maintenance workers, in teams of two, patrol the common areas — hallways, lockers, the cafeteria, the auditorium. Students stay in their classrooms, where instruction continues until it is determined the building is safe.

“At 9:30, it was released and we moved on,” said Forte.

“The principal sent an e-mail home, explaining to parents what happened and then sent a letter home, too,” said Forte. He concluded, “Parents should know we do everything we can to make sure their kids are safe.”

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