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  Internet Chat leads to State wide Lockdown

    Little Rock, AR

Albany, NY

   Thursday - January 23, 2003

Let's Stop the violence! 

    See how KEYS can help!!

Albany, NY -  A 17 year old student  bragged over the internet about his plan of killing more people at his school than were killed in Columbine. Fortunately, the 17 year old student to whom he spoke did not find it admirable and turned him in to authorities.


  "School Shooting Map

"He said that it was going to be just like Columbine, only they were going to kill more people." These words were reported to authorities by a student in Arkansas

In an unprecedented move, the New York State Commissioner of Education, Richard P. Mills, made the decision to send out a warning this morning to the state's 712 school districts based on a threat made over the internet. A 17 year old girl in Arkansas was "chatting" over the web with a 17 year old student from New York who began to talk about killing people and blowing up the school similar to the attack on Columbine. The Arkansas student is to be praised for her sound judgement in reporting the conversation to local authorities who quickly notified New York state police. The police arrested the young man and conducted a search of his house but found no other evidence that the threat was real. The Department of Education felt there was sufficient evidence to warrant the warning and many schools across the state shut and locked their doors.

We may never know if this was a planned event or just a prankster, a guy showing off for a girl. Either way, the school is now safer and unfortunately, this young man is facing prison.

Thirty miles west of Albany, Amsterdam School District Superintendent Ronald Limoncelli directed all outside doors locked at five elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. The District also refused entry to all visitors not known to the school for the day and canceled a spelling bee. "There was no specific threat against Amsterdam," Superintendent Limoncelli said, "Think we needed to be prepared and ready for it."

Mary Jalloh, director of the New York State Center for School Safety, said that her group received calls from schools around the state that had followed their emergency plans.

The questions that should spring to every mind is, "What would my school do? Do we have an emergency or crisis plan to get us through something like this? What if the threat was actually carried out?"

There are a number of organizations that offer schools help with Crisis Planning. It is possible to purchase a Crisis Plan or a "Fill in the blanks" Crisis Plan outline and many schools have taken advantage of these types of programs. These are generally referred to as "one-size-fits-all" plans. The question that we ask is, "When is the last time you bought a shirt labeled one-size-fits-all and it actually fit like a tailored garment?" Keys To Safer can help. Go to and look at what we have to offer. From a little to as much as your school needs. There are brief in-service trainings on the theories of planning for and mitigating a crisis, to School Site Safety Surveys, to a complete tailored, printed Crisis Plan. If we moved by this story of a Crisis averted through the actions of student, let it move us to action to be prepared.


  • To Learn How "Keys To Safer Schools" Can Help.

  • Learning what to look for - "Early Warning Signs"

  • Map of School Shootings

  • Learn about National Reports on Violence

  • Reported By:
    Frank Green
    Keys To Safer

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