McGann-Mercy student suspended after gun threat

COURTESY PHOTO | A 12-year-old Bishop McGann-Mercy Junior High School student was suspended this week after making an Internet threat.

A 12-year-old Bishop McGann-Mercy Junior High School student has been suspended after making threats on Instagram and Facebook this weekend saying he might have a gun that he would use to hurt his fellow students, teachers and himself, according to a Riverhead police report.

A school administrator notified the Riverhead Town Police Department of the threat Sunday night and a Southold Town police officer visited with the parents of the boy, who lives in Southold Town, according to the report.

The boy’s mother told investigators and school administrators that her son has no access to any weapons, police said. The school declined to press charges against the student, the report states.

A marked Riverhead police vehicle was dispatched to the school before the start of classes Monday, the day the student said he would bring the gun to school.

The police report was filed just two days after a 20-year-old Connecticut man opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children, six adults and himself.

In an unrelated incident, a 13-year-old Westbury Middle School student was arrested Monday after making an Internet threat to kill two female classmates, according to Nassau County police.

Bishop McGann-Mercy is a Catholic school educating students in grades seven through 12. The school’s principal, Carl Semmler, said in a voicemail message to parents Wednesday, the morning after this report was first published, that the school learned of the post after administrators were made aware of several comments students made on social networks following the shooting.

“Some of the posts were constructive, but some inappropriate comments were made,” he said.

Mr. Semmler said the school took the appropriate steps to get law enforcement involved and ultimately determined there was “no threat” to students and staff.

“We are here to support to your students,” he said.

School officials declined comment when contacted for this story.

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