SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - Central Park students will be dismissed slightly later than usual Monday afternoon.
Law enforcement officials were called to the school Monday in response to a "perceived threat" written on a wall in the boys' bathroom. According to school safety protocol, the school was placed in a lockdown.
During a lockdown, students are not allowed to leave the classroom or be in the hallways and no one can enter or leave the building, according to school officials.
According to the alert sent out by the school, "While students will be dismissed shortly, they will not be allowed to go to their lockers even to get outerwear. Students who ride buses are boarding the buses now and will be running slightly behind. No students will be allowed back into the school until law enforcement officers thoroughly check the building and deem it safe."
School officials say that once police finish their investigation, students will be allowed to enter the buildings and get their belonging.
In responce to parent anger at their children being sent home with out their belongings - and in some cases house keys - school official Karen Corona sent out the following letter.
"Dear Central Park Parents,
I'm sure many of you were concerned and not happy this afternoon when your child came home from school late and without his or her outerwear today. Please understand that there was an emergency situation taking place that caused the delay of dismissal and prevented us from allowing your child to be in the halls of the school or to open any lockers to get his or her belongings. Your child's safety was our first priority.
We are very sorry and regret that we could not give you any notice about the delay in dismissal or allow your child to grab his or her jacket or coat before heading outdoors. Right before scheduled dismissal, law enforcement was contacted in response to a perceived threat written on the wall in the boys' bathroom. With such, we must follow the advice of the police and immediately enforce our school safety measures.
Any threat made in school is taken seriously and a series of steps must be followed. Rather than keeping the children locked in the classrooms while the police search continued through and after dismissal, we followed a plan to escort the children in groups out of the building. This was done to ensure their safety and to release them as close to regular dismissal time as possible. While we were uncomfortable releasing them without outerwear, it was the appropriate action to take at the time.
With safety-related threats such as this, we are unsure how long the search and investigation will last or what the outcome will be.
While we understand your concerns, please know that we must always be cautious and take steps that ensure the safety of everyone. These were unusual circumstances today and we apologize for any inconvenience.
The school is now cleared and deemed safe by the police. If you would like to stop by tonight to pick up your child's coat or other belongings, the school will be open until 7:45 tonight.
Please don't hesitate to call if you have additional questions or concerns.