WALWORTH, N.Y. (WROC) — A 17-year-old student from Gananda High School was arrested after posing in a post on social media with what appeared to be an assault rifle Wednesday, New York State Police Officials announced Thursday.

Authorities say state police were notified by the Macedon Police Department around 12:30 p.m. of the social media post, which caused concerns to district officials who immediately contacted law enforcement.

Officials say troopers, along with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, responded to Gananda High School to meet with administrators and Macedon police.

Police say the student was taken into custody off school grounds and was interviewed in the presence of a parent before being charged with making a terroristic threat, a class D felony.

According to state police, the student was arraigned Wednesday night and is scheduled to appear at Wayne County Court Friday.

Officials say this appears to be an isolated incident.

Gananda superintendent Dr. Shawn Van Scoy wants to assure parents that while we live in a scary day and age, Gananda is working hard to protect the students and school.

While details are limited, Dr. Van Scoy also said a lot of the ‘discovery’ happened because of the relationships between staff and students.

“We want parents to know we are working hard to keep their students safe. But there are scary things going on and we need to work with them so we are aware of them and we can act,” said Dr. Van Scoy. “They need to be talking to their students. They should be monitoring what their students are doing on social media and monitoring their phones.”


A letter posted to the Gananda Central School District website Wednesday said:

Dear Gananda Families and Community Members,

With all of the senseless acts we have seen over the past week, it is even more important that we join together as a community to monitor, communicate, and help one another. Everyone in our buildings and within our community has a role to ensure the safety and security of our schools. Today’s events were an important reminder of this. 

The lockout this afternoon was precipitated by a social media post made by a student who attends Gananda high school. A 17-year old student posed with what appeared to be an assault weapon. We are unable to share additional details about the post at this time.     

This was brought to the attention of staff members from multiple individuals. Upon learning of the post, district officials immediately contacted law enforcement. At that time, our local law authorities were alerted and came to the high school within minutes. Multiple agencies swiftly went into action and it was determined that out of an abundance of caution, all schools go into a lockout during a critical time in the investigation.  This was to ensure the safety of our students and staff. The individual responsible for the threat was taken into custody and our New York State Troopers are continuing to investigate this matter further. As this is an active case, we cannot provide any additional comments on the situation. The State Police are the lead agency and we have been fully cooperating with them.  When the appropriate charges are filed they will release that information.  This is an isolated incident, they have the individual in custody, and the NYS Troopers have assured us that there is no immediate danger to our schools or community.

We are no longer in a world where we can sit back on these threats or ignore them as jokes. We have to be diligent. We need everyone’s eyes and ears. If you see something, say something. You can use our email tip line, SaySomething@gananda.org, to report anything that you feel would impact the safety of our students, staff, or community members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We monitor this email and investigate any leads internally and with local law enforcement. Additionally, you can always call us at 315-986-3521 to report suspicious activity.

Thank you to the individuals that came forward today to share the information they saw, and thank you to our law enforcement agencies; Macedon Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Troopers for their support. It is the strong relationships that we have with our local law enforcement agencies that help us provide safe environments in our schools.

While today’s lock out situation surely did not help calm nerves with recent events, I can assure you that we are doing all that we can on a daily basis to keep our students and staff safe. Please join us for an open community forum next Tuesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Ruben A. Cirillo High School to discuss this topic and provide some answers to your questions.  This event will be held both in-person and live-streamed on our district Facebook page.

I ask that we continue to do our best in supporting each other and our students with acts of kindness and compassion. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Shawn Van Scoy, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Gananda Central Schools


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.