POUGHKEEPSIE – The Poughkeepsie city’s middle and high schools will be open for instruction on Thursday after a social media threat had the schools closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday the Poughkeepsie City School District said an investigation determined that the threat was not credible.
The students were denied instruction during the closure because the district did not switch to remote learning.
A district statement said, “A thorough investigation by local and state law enforcement has not yielded any credible evidence to support the social media threat made against Poughkeepsie Middle School and Poughkeepsie High School, resulting in the closure of both schools today and Tuesday.”
Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser said the schools are reopening on Thursday with increased police presence and other measures, including:
- Continued collaboration and the sharing of information with local and state law enforcement.
- The presence of School Resource Officers at each school.
- The presence of Safety Monitors at each school.
- Thorough baggage checks for all students (For the next several days students are advised to reduce the number of items they carry to school).
- Every student and guest will go through metal detection devices.
- Additional Central Office presence in both schools.
- Enhanced safety protocols in each building.
Additionally, the district has invested in the Gaggle safety management monitoring system that will flag concerning content and bring it to the attention of staff. The system also enables members of the school community to confidentially report anything that might bring harm to an individual or the entire school community. This safety management system will be operable within two weeks.
Last week Rosser told Mid-Hudson News that the Poughkeepsie City Police Department had previously deployed K9s in the high school for random locker searches but the program was discontinued by former Superintendent Nicole Williams. Rosser plans to revive the practice. The superintendent indicated that it is a tool that will continue to improve safety in the building. Police Captain Rich Wilson said the department is working with the district to improve safety. “We will provide assets to the school when they are requested by the district.”