LI Students Only Allowed To Bring Clear Plastic Bags Into School Following Threat
BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Monday were investigating a threatening message that was written on the window of a Long Island high school over the weekend.
Police said the message was written in black magic marker on the cafeteria window at Baldwin High School on Ethel T. Kloberg Drive between 10:30 p.m. Friday and 8:07 a.m. Saturday.
Officials did not disclose the content of the message, but students said it was a bomb threat.
“It stated that the school was gonna blow up on certain days at certain times,” sophomore Daniel Fisher told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
In response to the threat, additional security was provided at the school on Monday.
The school felt more like an airport security checkpoint as students checked their book bags at the front door and were forced to turn over everything except what they could hold or fit into clear plastic bags.
“It’s happened several times before so it gets kind of annoying,” freshman Tyler Ortiz told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell of the threat.
Bags that didn’t meet the criteria were labeled and then lined up outside of the building for the day.
“They said just in case there’s bomb threats so they said just in case they had to check the bags and make sure that everybody’s safe,” freshman Adan Broderick told Burrell.
Parents said they got a robocall from the school’s principal alerting them to the threat.
Father P.J. Green said he was anxious after dropping off his 14-year-old son at the school on Monday.
“My best reaction is to thank God the school is taking as many precautions as they can to prevent anything from happening,” Green said. “The only thing I can do is pray nothing happens.”
This was not the first threat at Baldwin High School. Many students said there are threats, fights or lockdowns nearly every month.
“You have to show your ID a lot, have to leave the building right after the last bell rings,” senior Rosalyn Li said.
Students said it all started at last October’s homecoming football game after gunshots rang out and a teenager was stabbed. Since then, everyone at the school has been on high alert.
In April, another disturbing graffiti message was found in a school bathroom.
“I’m nervous, honestly,” Fisher said. “Teachers aren’t tolerating any fooling around in the hallways. They’re not tolerating any graffiti or weapons or anything like that, so it’s like everybody’s on their top right now. Everybody’s making sure we are safe.”
Students said they suspect the threats are the work of rival high school students.
The superintendent said the district is working closely with police to investigate the threat, but some parents said they believe that taking away the kids’ backpacks just isn’t enough to ensure their safety.
“Something has to be done. What is being done?” parent Sosasi Henry told CBS 2’s Burrell. “What is going to be done? I don’t want any kid to get hurt.”
No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.
Detectives ask anyone with information to contact the Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
The school’s superintendent has not yet decided whether the bag check will be in place again Tuesday.
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