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Toy gun, social media threat prompt back-to-back alerts at Orange middle school

Prospect Heights Middle School in the town of Orange issued back-to-back safety notices to parents last week following reported incidents involving students.

About noon on Wednesday, school administration learned a student was in possession of a plastic toy firearm, according to the notice. Staff responded immediately and coordinated with Orange County Sheriff’s Office. At no time were any students or staff members in danger, the notice said.

“The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and OCPS administration take these types of matters very seriously and will continue to work together to keep everyone in our schools safe. As a reminder, school board policy prohibits individuals from bringing toy guns and look-alike guns onto school property.

“Violation of this policy will lead to disciplinary action and could lead to a recommendation for expulsion,” according to administration.

The next day, Prospect Heights administration learned a student had made a threatening post on social media.

School staff coordinated with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, according to the second safety notice sent by the school stating it was determined that there was no substantiated or imminent threat.

The matter is taken very seriously, officials said.

In the future event a student sees a threat on social media, in a text, or online, officials ask that they immediately notify an adult, school administrator or law enforcement official.

“We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. As a reminder, school board policy prohibits any verbal, written, or physical threat of bodily injury or use of force directed toward another person or group of people,” according to the Prospect Heights safety notice sent to parents.

“Such threats could result in a recommendation for expulsion. The safety and security of our students remains our top priority,” school and law enforcement officials said.


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