I am writing to let you know that earlier today, one of our students was reported to have displayed a weapon while departing their morning program at the Harkness Career and Technical Center. As soon as we became aware of the situation, we immediately conducted a thorough search here in Clarence. During the initial steps of our investigation, we found a BB gun and several knives in the individual’s vehicle.
After completing a formal threat assessment and working with local law enforcement, we do not believe that the student intended to harm others. With that being said, non-credible actions—even those made in jest or in frustration—will not be tolerated. We immediately contacted the New York State Troopers for their assistance, and we hope they know how much we appreciate their commitment to keeping our students and staff safe.
Additionally, we would like to thank the students who reported the situation to trusted adults at Harkness. Because of their willingness to say something after they saw something, it enabled our administrators to address the matter swiftly and appropriately.
I recognize that these types of communications can be unsettling. It is important to emphasize, however, that instances like this are exceptionally rare here in our school community. We do not believe that anyone was ever at risk, but I wanted you to hear about it from me as opposed to reading a rumor online or learning about it from a neighbor.
Finally, I would ask you for a favor. When appropriate, please remind your child about the importance of making safe decisions when on school grounds. We know that all kids make mistakes, but poor choices involving safety can result in disciplinary action and even criminal charges.
Thank you for the trust you place in our school, and please rest assured that our first priority is always in keeping kids safe.