GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. - It's been five days since the Gloversville Enlarged School District was in lockout, while police and school officials determined if that threat was credible, taking emergency plans that are usually laid out on paper and putting them to the test.
Gloversville Superintendent Michael Vanyo says keeping hundreds of students safe was the goal from the beginning, when they were first notified of a potential threat of violence, "Columbine style."
But before his arrest, emergency plans went into effect, specifically a lockout, in which the superintendent says no one is allowed in or out of the building.
"We know we have to get information out there," says Vanyo. "But if we rush it and don't do it right, then that's a problem. So this is a big balance. It's great to have these tools of communication, but on the other hand we have to be careful with them."
Vanyo says information was put out to the community through two channels; a communication coordinator and police.
"One of our major focuses was to keep the children and the faculty safe, but at the same time not creating a mass panic or public alarm," says Gloversville Police Chief Daniel VanDeusen.
"I'm most proud of how the students reacted," adds Vanyo. "When I talked to the high school, they moved on as business as usual. They didn't make a panic out of this."
The threat was allegedly made through social media platform SnapChat.
Vanyo says while the 14-year-old girl did nothing wrong, he calls it a teachable moment about privacy settings.
"Social media is a great thing," he says. "There's lots of different sites out there and platforms, but as a parent, if you don't really go and get involved in this, you don't get a chance to look at what's out there. Kids are vulnerable."
"All in all, there is no blame to be put on the victim, but it is a learning experience that these things can happen when you let your defenses down," adds VanDeusen.
The Superintendent says his plan is to hold an information night in October for parents and students on social media.
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