A school district in New York closed its doors Friday as
police and the FBI investigate a threat on an America Online
instant messaging chat room.
Reports say that a student received a message saying something would
occur at his high school. As a result, the Edgemont School District in
Westchester County was closed Friday.
"We are currently working with law enforcement to provide them with the
information that they need in order to bring the matter to a
resolution," said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham. "We don't tolerate
threats of violence of any kind on our service...we not only cooperate
with law enforcement, but under our own investigation we will terminate
a member's account if a threat of violence was made and documented."
The threat comes shortly after an 18-year-old high school student at
Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Calif., went on a shooting rampage
Thursday, injuring three students and two teachers. Early this month,
another school shooting occurred just seven miles away at Santana High
School, leaving two dead and 13 wounded.
AOL's Graham said at about 2 a.m. Friday an individual saw the threat in
an AOL instant messaging service chat room, and then brought it to the
attention of law enforcement. A subpoena was then sent to AOL,
which then provided information to authorities.
A spokeswoman at the Westchester County District Attorney's Office said
that while they cannot comment about the nature of the investigation at
the Edgemont School District in New York, she confirmed that the school
district was closed, saying that the district attorney's high-tech
division is working with Greenberg police and the FBI "in trying to
track this down."
AOL instant messaging is a free service available to individuals age 13
and over and have the ability to go into a chat room, Graham said.
Greenberg police could not be immediately reached for comment.