A teenager is under arrest following an incident that took place at an Orange County school this past week.

In a written release the New York State Police (NYSP) says that during the afternoon of Monday, January 10, 2022 State Police in Monroe began investigating investigating telephone calls that were received by the S.S. Seward Institute High School - known locally as the Seward School - in Florida, New York.  Several other agencies were involved in the investigation including the Village of Florida Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The calls suggested a threat of violence at the school.

S. S. Seward Institute Photo Credit: Google Maps
S. S. Seward Institute Photo Credit: Google Maps
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The Florida Union Free School District - of which the Seward School is a part, along with Golden Hill Elementary School - initially called for a lockdown of the school.  The lockdown then led to an evacuation of the building.  The NYSP said all students were safely removed from the building.

The emotional toll on our students, staff, parents and broader community was indescribable." - Superintendent Larry J. Leaven, Florida Union Free School District

 

Town of Chester Police Department Photo Credit: Google Maps (image capture September 2019) via Google Maps 2022
Town of Chester Police Department Photo Credit: Google Maps (image capture September 2019) via Google Maps 2022
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In addition to those that began the investigation, several other law enforcement agencies were involved with the search of the school.  These agencies included the Warwick Police Department, the Village of Chester Police Department, Town of Chester Police Department, and the Woodbury Police Department.  Following a search of the building it was determined that the threat was not credible.

S.S. Seward Institute Photo Credit: Google Maps (image captured September 2019) via Google Maps 2022
S.S. Seward Institute Photo Credit: Google Maps (image captured September 2019) via Google Maps 2022
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Following additional investigation by the NYSP's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, and the Village of Florida Police Department, a teen suspect was identified and arrested.  The juvenile was charged with Falsely Reporting an Incident in the 1st Degree (Class D felony).  Because of age considerations the suspect's name will not be released.

Law enforcement authorities remind the public that all threats are taken seriously.  Police say that at no time were students of staff at the school in any danger.

In a letter to parents Florida Union Free School District Superintendent Larry J. Leaven said, "The dual threat evacuation that took place...was an experience that we never want to repeat.  The emotional toll on our students, staff, parents and broader community was indescribable."

Letter to Parents Dated January 14, 2022 from Florida Schools Superintendent Larry J. Leaven (Florida Union Free School District in New York
Letter to Parents Dated January 14, 2022 from Florida Schools Superintendent Larry J. Leaven (Florida Union Free School District in New York
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FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, and the Village of Florida Police Department, resulted in the arrest of a juvenile suspect for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the first degree (Class D Felony).

School officials indicate that the police investigation is continuing and urge anyone with additional information that may be helpful to police to call NYSP Investigator Robert Baird at: (845) 782.8311.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE:   This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information received from the New York State Police and the Florida Union Free School District.  The suspect arrested in this case is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.  At the time of this posting no additional information is available.]

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