NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Officials in Nutley closed all public schools in the district Friday due to a “security threat” as police investigated a video posted on Instagram.
The video allegedly showed a teen flaunting a variety of guns plus photos of students and a school, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported. A Foster the People song is also playing with the words “all you other kids with the pumped-up kicks better run, better run, outrun my gun.”
“My son showed me the video of the student shooting a gun, which appears to be a building that looks just like either the elementary school or junior high,” said parent Gerard Teresi. “We called the authorities.”
“It feels kind of upsetting because it could hurt, like people’s feelings and stuff because then their kids won’t get an education anymore,” said fifth-grader Ava Fiordilino.
Police said they have “spoken to the individual that posted the video and detectives are in the process of speaking with all individuals from the video” to ascertain further information.
They said so far, there doesn’t appear to be an active threat to any of the seven schools, “but we must finish this process.” Authorities have not identified the creator of the video, but his Instagram page says he’s a senior at Nutley High, Roy reported.
“He was normal. Like, I never thought he would do that,” one student said. “I felt like he was trying to make a joke about it, ’cause that’s his type of demeanor, but then, also, jokes about school shootings is not funny.”
In a letter on the district’s website, Superintendent Julie Glazer said the district “became aware of a security threat.” Glazer said while police investigate, the district decided to “err on the side of safety” and use an emergency day to close schools.
“As both the superintendent of the Nutley Public Schools and as a parent, and because of the nature of the world in which we live, there was no other decision to be made,” Glazer said. “Please rest assured that the safety and security of all our students and staff in the Nutley Public Schools remains our first priority.”
Parents received a call just before midnight telling them to keep their children at home.
“It was a little scary after what happened a few days ago in Florida,” said parent Lori Fiordilino.
“I applaud Nutley for shutting down and taking precautions,” said Teresi.
Educators across the country have already been on high alert after a teen suspect opened fire on Valentine’s Day at a Florida high school, killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen others.
Nutley police also said they are “in constant contact” with the Nutley schools superintendent and “are taking all the precautions to ensure the safety of all schoolchildren.”
“It’s awful to wake up in the morning and send your kid to school and not know if you’re going to see them at the end of the day,” said Maryanne Cortese. “If they see something, they have to say something. We have to be alerted.”
Cortese, who has grandchildren in Nutley, said she was already worried getting off a plane from Florida on Thursday.
“I was down in Florida last week for the entire week in Parkland, and all of my family attended that school,” she told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “It’s surreal.”
Evening events at Nutley schools Friday are also canceled. Schools will reopen after the winter break on Feb. 26.