Update: Whitman Student Accused of Social Media Threat

A Walt Whitman High School student was arrested Thursday over a threat of mass harm posted to a social media site, Suffolk County police said.

Police went to the school on West Hills Road, isolated the girl, who is 15, and searched her locker, bookbag and her home in Huntington Station. She was arrested at about12:35 p.m.

Officers determined there was no credible threat,police and the school district said. She was charged with threat of mass harm, a Class B misdemeanor, and will be arraigned in Suffolk County Family Court at a later date.

Parents were notified by the school’s alert system shortly after police arrived at the school.

Dr. Vito D’Elia, superintendent of schools, said, “Today there was an incident where a student misused social media, resulting in negative effects not only to themselves but to our school community.

“Social media platforms have begun to work with law enforcement agencies to help limit and cease the spread of violent messages by sharing these messages with law enforcement officials allowing them to quickly identify the source of potential threats. This was the case today, where the social media forum Snapchat shared a concerning message with the FBI, who then shared the information with the Suffolk County Police Department.  Suffolk Police officers responded to the school and after investigating, the Suffolk Police Department ascertained that it was a student within Walt Whitman High School who was responsible for the posting.  That student was interviewed by police and then taken into custody.

“The threat made against the school was deemed non-credible and no student was ever in danger, but the student is now facing legal repercussions because of their choices.

“While this is not a problem that only our school faces, it is important to talk about this to ensure that no other students within our school community are negatively affected by poor choices and decision making. Making idle threats, or reporting such threats without cause is dangerous, creating a situation where students, staff and the surrounding community do not feel safe. While our goal is to never have our students face such situations, it is important that they learn the dangerous effects of words of hate and violence on communities at large and that social media platforms are not a place to spread fear. Those who decide to make these types of choices will not only have consequences from the school but will also face legal ramifications.”

Custodian Accused of Making Threat Against School District

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