MEXICO – Mexico High School’s Friends of Rachel Club members have put forth weekly challenges for their peers to spread kindness and brighten someone’s day.
The challenge for the week of March 26 to March 30 of “I will be there for someone who needs a shoulder to lean on or a helping hand” came on the heels of multiple threats of violence against the Mexico Academy and Central School District, and some more specifically at the high school.
While all recent threats of violence have all been determined by New York State Police to be non-credible, Superintendent Sean Bruno said the challenge of lending a helping hand also includes students reporting any potential school safety issue to MACS staff members.
During a recent school-wide assembly on school safety following the most recent threat which had circulated on social media to upwards of 30 students, Bruno explained that only one recipient alerted MACS staff.
“I want to publicly thank the student who reported that,” Bruno said. “We have to respond as though it’s credible; we must respond that way each and every time. We will call the police every time; it’s a part of our safety plan.”
The involved student who made the threat was led out of the high school in handcuffs Tuesday; that is a scenario Bruno said he doesn’t ever want to have to see again.
While relieved the police helped determine high school students were not in danger that day, Bruno said the student will face school-related consequences.
The individual will also be prosecuted criminally, according to Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes, whom Bruno invited to speak at Mexico High School.
Oakes first apologized to the students, in grades nine through 12, because they live in an environment where assemblies like the one he was invited to are necessary.
He then informed the high schoolers that the suspect, which was their classmate, was charged with multiple crimes, which could put him in jail.
The ramifications go far beyond that, he said.
Being reckless with words and photos online, or in person, will also ultimately affect one’s admission into college, obtaining various jobs or serving in the military.
MACS Board of Education President James Emery, along with several other MACS and Mexico High School administrators were also present, showing their solidarity for school safety.
They agreed when Bruno reiterated that suspected threats should always be reported, regardless the level of merit people think they may have.
Oakes strongly agreed. Real-life consequences will always follow such threats.
Bruno said the Mexico Academy and Central School District remains committed to ensuring all students are safe at school.
Mexico High School students will participate in lockdown drills and additional meetings throughout the next week to ensure they are fully informed on safety roles and procedures.
Oakes will also visit the Mexico Middle School on April 3 to offer a safety presentation to students in grades five through eight.