Riverhead School District

Police presence expected at Riverhead Middle School for remainder of week after student’s verbal threat

A Riverhead Middle School student made a verbal threat against the school and students while in class Monday morning, prompting Riverhead Town police to respond to a district building for the third time in the past week.

Two high school students were arrested last week and charged with making a terroristic threat. Riverhead police said an investigation is ongoing and the parents of the student are cooperating with police.

Superintendent Augustine Tornatore updated the community about the incident in a letter Monday and said the incident is now a police matter. A police presence is expected to remain at the middle school for the rest of the week “to reassure our school community,” the superintendent wrote.

Police responded at 10:11 a.m. after the student threatened to conduct an act of violence against the faculty and students, according to police. Detectives responded to assist in the investigation.

The superintendent said the student was removed from the class and escorted by building security and administrative personnel to the middle school principal’s office to remain under supervision. Police were then notified and arrived shortly afterward.

“The Riverhead School District takes a threat of any kind very seriously,” Mr. Tornatore wrote. “There is zero tolerance for such behavior or actions. We want to sincerely thank principal [Stephen] Hudson and assistant principal [Jeannine] Campbell for their swift and professional handling of this incident.”

He added: “In these challenging times, we would like to remind our school community to report any suspicious behavior, verbal or written, to a school administrator.”

Similar incidents have been on the rise across Long Island following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Student arrests have been reported at schools in Bellport, Commack, Westhampton, Westbury and Uniondale since the Uvalde mass shooting. In all the instances, there appeared to be no immediate threat to the districts.