Statement From Gov. Cuomo About Alleged School Threats In Cattaraugus And Chautauqua County Schools

February 16, 2018


“The school shooting in Florida continues to reverberate across the country. This morning, in two schools in Upstate New York, we had what appears to be “copycat” threats made by students threatening violence and saying they would bring guns to schools. These two matters are under control. The schools involved were the Chautauqua Lake School District and the Randolph Academy in Cattaraugus County. Both students are in police custody. State Police are on site, and the schools are functioning once again after a brief closure this morning.

“While the emotion, facts and consequences of yet another brutal gun attack continue to be processed, we must take a firm stand against any “copycat” actors. The State of New York has no tolerance for threats of violence in our school system. They will be handled immediately and aggressively. There are serious legal consequences for any person posing a threat whether or not they intend to actually execute upon that threat. A student should know there is nothing humorous about these situations and the consequences are most severe.

“While this morning’s incidents have been resolved, the school system and local police departments remain on full alert. Out of an abundance of caution, I am ordering the State Police to increase its patrols around schools statewide.”

UPDATE – 12:41pm – Statement from State Police:
At 9:05 a.m., Troopers and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) responded to Chautauqua Lake School for a threat of violence reported to school staff. The school initiated a lockout while State Police investigated.

The investigation revealed that a possible threat of violence could exist at Ashville BOCES. Ashville also went into lockout and additional Troopers and BCI responded. During this investigation, a 17-year-old student at Chautauqua Lake and a 15-year-old student from Ashville BOCES were taken into custody under the state’s mental hygiene law. Subsequently, the lockouts at both schools were lifted.

Both students were transported to hospitals for evaluation, and this investigation is continuing.