Troubling Message

SALAMANCA – Late Wednesday, students in the Salamanca City Central School district reported what they saw as a threat to school administrators, prompting an investigation and suspension of a 16-year old student Friday.

District Superintendent Robert J. Breidenstein said the report was made after the message, “Kill 55 – Friday” was discovered to be written on a bathroom wall in the high school building. The threat, though non-specific, was treated as credible and heightened security through district safety protocol was put in place. That higher level included a more visible presence of school resource officers and other law enforcement participating in higher levels of scrutiny, including backpack and locker checks, Breidenstein said.

“The school personnel and SRO did an excellent job in securing the necessary information and evidence to quickly and safely resolve this benign threat,” he said in a prepared statement. “It is important to note that the information to resolve this matter came from students and staff concerned for the safety of their classmates and colleagues.”

The name of the student that was suspended for the graffiti has not been released pending consideration of criminal charges, Breidenstein said.

“The district takes every threat, comment and situation as credible until the evidence reduces the threat assessment,” he continued. “Now that the matter is resolved, we will be working with the family and student to make certain resources are available to help this student make better, safer, more appropriate choices to express frustration.”

Information of the heightened measures within the district were posted on social media early Friday to let parents know of the situation from within the district.

“It is important to note that in this day and age of social media, our protocol involves a ‘Say it first, say it accurately and shine a light on the incident,’ so people with information can come forward with important detail,” Breidenstein said.