Reflection of Today’s Events

Members of the Rensselaer City School District Community:

Now that the day has calmed down and we have more clarity for the events that happened, I’d like to share some thoughts on today.

At 9:13am School Resource Officer Michaud called me directly to inform me of a non specific threat to the district.  We decided to immediately initiate a lockOUT protocol to mitigate any outside threats while we find out more information.  This is an example of how effective and efficient our relationship with the Rensselaer Police Department is.  

Once everyone in the building was informed, door swipes were disabled, and our employees at the vestibules were consulted with specific expectations, an initial communication went out to the community.

As the situation unfolded, we came to understand that many schools experienced a similar threat.  Apparently this was a case of “swatting” and it didn’t just happen in our area or even in New York State.  This was a widespread issue across several states.

Once the law enforcement agencies deemed the threats as unfounded, we sent out a community update around 11:30am.  This investigation involved the FBI, several different state police agencies, and countless county and local agencies due to the widespread nature.  With an understanding of the complexity of such an investigation, RCSD and the Rensselaer City Police Department decided to exercise an abundance of caution and hold the lockOUT protocol for the remainder of the day in case any new information might be discovered.  Additional officers were also stationed on campus.

Each time a situation involving safety occurs, fear, anxiety, and sometimes panic are experienced.  None of us want to exacerbate those emotions more than necessary.  We have protocols, measured responses, and a team of people dedicated to the safety of our students, staff, and community.  Kudos to the entire faculty and staff for remaining calm and providing a positive learning environment throughout the day for the students.  Because of them (and their ability to remain calm despite fears), our students had a fairly normal day with the exception of missing recess.

We also need to recognize that despite fears, our parents did not compromise the safety of the building by coming on site in hopes of picking students up.  Instead, everyone followed the protocols and helped contribute to the safety.

It truly does take an entire community to act together as #PartnersInSafety for us to navigate all of the challenges.  I feel lucky to be a part of this team!


Posted in District.