Superintendent Update – swatting suspect arrested

Dear Mohonasen Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing with an update to the recent “swatting” incident experienced by the District as a whole and Bradt Primary School in particular. Thanks to the combined efforts of Rotterdam Police, NYS Police and the FBI, the person responsible for this particular swatting incident has been identified by law enforcement and has been arrested. The person is a juvenile so the name will not be released.

The Rotterdam Police Department will be issuing a statement about the arrest shortly, but I want to make you aware of information police have provided to the District:

  • The suspect is a juvenile who attends Draper Middle School.
  • Although law enforcement had indicated this threat originated from outside the area, believing it to be connected to the other mass swatting incidents in the state, further investigation determined that the suspect in this case, was a “copycat” who was able to mask their location using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN disguises an IP address and makes it appear a person is accessing the internet from another location.
  • Rotterdam Police have determined that the student “had no specific plan of carrying out the threat, nor access to weapons.”
  • The student is being charged by the police with “Making a Terrorist Threat, a Class D Felony.”
  • The Code of Conduct and educational law will also be brought to bear; however, details of the process and outcome will not be released given the age of the student.

Please be reminded that any threat against our District goes against our Code of Conduct and is a crime. These matters are handled with the utmost seriousness.

Because this is a police matter, the district will not comment further on this case.

Thank you to the many parents, faculty, staff, students and community members who reported these threats to Mohonasen.  Safety remains our top priority and we will remain ever vigilant.

Yours in Service,

Shannon Shine, Superintendent

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