Watch full news conference-Marcellus school officials address violence plot
Fri, 16 May 2014 19:15:58 GMT —
Marcellus school officials are addressing an alleged plot by two middle schoolers to harm students.
The details were sent in a letter to parents Friday.
Police say they confiscated a "couple of long guns and hand guns" from one of the student's homes. They also said there was the "infancy" of a plan to harm specific students, which made the plot a credible threat.
According to officials, two C.S. Driver Middle School students were overheard having disturbing conversation about violent movies and past school shootings. The student who heard the conversation told a parent, who then called police.
The students are not being identified because of their age.
The district's school resources officers along with school leaders immediately interviewed the witness and the two suspects and determined there was a credible threat. The district alerted village police and sheriff's deputies who then conducted a search of the students' homes. In one of the homes, deputies found and removed a number of weapons. Investigators later learned the two students had indicated a desire to do harm to a couple of classmates.
On Thursday, school officials spoke to faculty and staff members and a plan was put in place to inform parents and the community. School officials issued a statement online and sent one home to parents, informing them of the incident.
District leaders say student privacy laws prohibit them from commenting an any specific action taken. The superintendent and the police chief both say they are confident there is no longer an immediate threat. "It has been determined by law enforcement that the incident has been thoroughly investigated, that the threat has been eliminated and access to weapons has been removed, and that no students are in any danger," said Marcellus Superintendent Dr. Craig Tice.
The police chief says the situation has been brought to a successful conclusion. "School district officials and local law enforcement have collaborated in a manner - especially thanks to the work of the school resource officers - that ensured that this situation received the utmost attention and priority and that the school district has taken appropriate action," Chief Robert Wicks said.
School officials and police credit the student with coming forward to prevent any harm to students or teachers. "This incident proves that our first line of defense is the students themselves," Dr. Tice said. "This young witness demonstrated good judgment and great courage by stepping forward."