Police investigating threats against four schools across New York, including in Batavia and Steuben County

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BATAVIA, N.Y. Police are investigating a series of threats made against several schools across New York, including in Batavia.

These threats have been deemed noncredible, but the FBI is now involved in the investigation. John Kennedy Intermediate School in Batavia, a school in Steuben County, another in Erie County and a school downstate were all involved in what police say are likely swatting threats.

Batavia PD says threats were called in just after 7:30 a.m. officers, along with the sheriff’s office and New York State Police, responded to John Kennedy Intermediate School on Vine Street. The building was cleared and no threat was found. There were also no students at the school because of February break.

The Batavia police chief says similar threats were made to schools in Colorado yesterday and they believe it’s swatting. A swatting event is when a person will call 911 to get police to respond, but it’s a false call. Other schools in the district were also searched as a precaution.

“We wanted to make sure this wasn’t someone testing our response or something like that and making sure we’re attentive to the other buildings,” said City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch. “So we did send officers to each building, including the private schools in the city.”

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office also searched other school districts in the county as a precaution. Because this involved schools across state lines, the FBI is working with local law enforcement to investigate.

A statement from Batavia City School District is below:

To Our BCSD Community, 

This morning, the Batavia Police Department received a call from an unknown person who was making threats against John Kennedy Intermediate. The Batavia Police Department, New York State Police, and Genesee County Sheriff immediately responded to John Kennedy to investigate, and they found no evidence of a credible threat. 

As an additional precaution, patrol units were sent to all BCSD schools to do a safety check.

BCSD is currently on February recess, and only a small number of staff members were present during the on-site investigation. No students were in the building at the time of the incident. 

While no credible threat has been found, the Batavia Police Department is continuing its investigation.

All sports practices, events, and club activities will continue as planned throughout the weekend, and BCSD will have increased police presence as a safety precaution. 

We will keep you informed as additional information becomes available. We thank the Batavia Police Department, State Police, and Genesee County Sheriff’s Department for their swift response as well as our John Kennedy staff for their ongoing assistance and cooperation.

Jason Smith