After a student was charged by state police with making threats on social media last week, the Port Byron Central School District has vowed to improve how it communicates with parents in a crisis.
A letter to parents about the incident and communication strategy was sent electronically around 1 p.m. Wednesday, district Superintendent Neil O'Brien said. Copies of the letter, written by O'Brien, have been mailed out and it is available on the district's website. The letter goes into detail about the situation while admitting the district had made mistakes in communicating with parents along the way.
Late in the day on Feb. 16, state police charged a 12-year-old middle school student with making a terroristic threat, a class D felony. O'Brien had said earlier that day that the district became concerned after seeing an Instagram post created by the student around 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, and informed state police that same night. He didn't disclose what exactly the post contained but said there was "no direct threat to the school or students." Trooper Mark O'Donnell also confirmed that investigators went to the district Friday to confirm there were no tangible threats. O'Donnell said the student referenced the violent film "The Purge" on Instagram.