Dear Berlin Central School District families,
At the end of the school day on Thursday, February 15 it was brought to our attention that a serious threat was made on the image messaging app, Snapchat by one of our students at Berlin MS/HS. We immediately contacted local law enforcement and officers were dispatched to our Middle School / High School. The immediate investigation concluded that evening was that the threat was not considered credible. However, as a precautionary measure and to reassure students and staff, there was a police presence at school on Friday, February 16, as part of our standard response procedures.
I would like to provide an update on what has occurred since the initial investigation. The Rensselaer County Sheriff has assigned a detective to this case and continues to meet with administrators to assist our school personnel in bringing this threat to closure. As a law enforcement issue, the Rensselaer County District Attorney has brought Class A – Misdemeanor charges against the individual who made the original threat. Additionally, the Berlin Central School District has also levied Category 3 charges for violations of the District’s Code of Conduct which could result in a permanent expulsion from school.
Over the previous week, the sheriff’s detective has worked diligently with other law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Task Force, and New York State Police, in the ongoing investigation. As we continue to monitor this investigation and the initial threat, we continue to work together to ensure our Berlin students and staff are safe and secure in all of our school buildings.
Our staff has been vigilant in keeping their eyes and ears open regarding any possible future threats. We would like to ask all parents and guardians to speak to your children about their concerns regarding their safety here at school. Please emphasize the importance of notifying a teacher, administrator, parent, or other adult if they should hear about or view anything on social media that may be suspicious or a potential threat to anyone. “If you see or hear something – say something!”
As we continue to reflect on the tragic event that occurred in Parkland, Florida, we must remind ourselves that our mission is to educate our students in a safe teaching and learning environment. Over the next few weeks, Berlin Central School District will be looking at additional ways to ensure the safety of our students. The Berlin Website will be the official source for updates and distribution of additional information regarding the ongoing investigation, outcomes, and future plans for the safety of our students.
If you have any questions, please contact a building principal or the Superintendent’s Office.
Dr. Stephen Young
Superintendent of Schools