New state law aims to crack down on school threats as 3 Hudson Valley schools field scares
A new state law signed Monday is cracking down on the growing number of school threats, including several back-to-back scares in the Hudson Valley this week.
Those threats have parents on edge and led police to identify a young child as the suspect in one case.
Valley Central, Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery and a private school in Dobbs Ferry all fielded scares within the last four days.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new law making it easier to prosecute those responsible by creating two new crimes for making a threat of mass harm.
Valley Central and Dobbs Ferry schools stayed open during their investigations and Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery closed.
Parents say the incidents are frightening and disruptive.
In Valley Central, parents say they are critical of the district’s response to the threat.
“They took away any parent’s choice to send their child in that day,” said Melissa Walsh, from Maybrook. “I know for myself, I don’t think I would’ve gambled with my son’s safety.”
Parents say Valley Central didn’t disclose that the Montgomery Elementary School was threatened when they sent out a generic notice and remained open.
“You can at least say which school it was and what kind of threat it was to give parents the opportunity to make that decision for their child,” said Vicki Ortiz, from the Town of Newburgh.
Montgomery police posted on Facebook that the district told parents the investigation was complete before it was.
Authorities say an underage student in that scare was later identified as the person responsible for Valley Central threat.
News 12 reached out to the Valley Central School District for comment but haven’t heard back.