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AOL chat room threat closes school

A school district in New York closes its doors as police and the FBI investigate a threat on an America Online instant messaging chat room.

    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.