UPDATED: Smithtown High School East evacuated
In a message to members of the Smithtown High School East community, school officials notified families that on the afternoon of March 29 the facility was evacuated.
In the message, school officials said, “Late this afternoon it was reported that graffiti was identified in one of our restrooms that could be interpreted as a nonspecific threat. In an abundance of caution and in conjunction with the recommendation of the Suffolk County Police Department, our facility was evacuated.”
Students were released as soon as possible, according to the message, and school activities were canceled. SCPD was evaluating the safety and security of the high school, and students are not permitted to return inside the building until the police department has given the district the appropriate clearance.
According to SCPD, Fourth Precinct Crime Section officers were investigating the incident after receiving a call at 1:17 p.m. about the graffiti.
Later in the day, Principal Robert Rose notified members of the Smithtown High School East community that SCPD determined that there was “no credible or specific threat to our school community at this time.”
“As is always the case, district administration, its security staff and the SCPD have worked together to ensure the collective safety of our school community,” Rose wrote. “While I know some were frustrated by a lack of information at the time of the evacuation, please know that our first priority is the immediate safety of our students and staff and collaborating with the SCPD to ensure that safety. We certainly understand and agree that notification to parents is also a priority and we will look into ways to get information to you quicker in the future.”
Students were instructed to return to school Thursday, March 30, and to return to the classrooms they left their belongings Wednesdays before reporting to their first period.
Rose wrote that if the SCPD determines “that a threat was made, an arrest will be made regardless of the
intention of the person who made the threat.”