News10NBC’s Stephanie Robusto contacted local school districts to see if they’re getting more threats. They say there are no concrete numbers. What is clear — police and school districts are not tolerating any action which could be construed as a threat.
On Feb. 20, police arrest Abigail Hernandez for allegedly making a threat towards East High School.
“What’s really important is that we able to get ahead of the threat,” said Rochester Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander.
On Feb. 26, an unnamed student reportedly made threatening remarks about the Franklin campus in the Rochester City School District.
Greece Police arrested Randy Ross, a former Greece student, after making a song titled “School Shooter” on Feb. 27.
“The lyrics within the song, the content of that video was alarming to us,” said Greece Police Sgt. Jared Renee.
It’s a heightened sense of awareness surrounding school safety putting districts and law enforcement on guard.
“This wont be tolerated in Greece,” said Sgt. Renee. “We want our schools to be the safest schools in America. Period.”
Ross and Hernandez were both charged with making a terroristic threat – a terrifying sounding felony, but could it be considered freedom of speech?
“Is it equivalent to yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater or is it a rap song where we don’t like what he’s saying, but he’s still entitled to say it,” said Peter Pullano of Tully Rinckey PPLC.
As a legal expert, Pullano has never seen someone charged with making a terroristic threat, saying it often is too hard to prosecute because of that fine line.
“It requires intimidation, coercion of the public,” said Pullano.
Police want the public to report anything they deem a possible threat so those in law enforcement can investigate before anything happens.