AVON – Following a minor incident on social media that rippled into a wave of fear and rumors at Avon Central Schools, the District announced to families that it plans to establish a tip line to alert administrators of suspicious or alarming online activity.
An email that Avon Superintendent Aaron Johnson sent to families on Jan. 19 is as follows:
This is your school superintendent, Aaron Johnson. As you may be aware, a concern with a recent social media post was reported to the district today. To clarify some rumors that you may have heard, this post was a general comment that did not specifically reference school, Avon or any type of weapon. Upon being made aware of this concern, district administration worked with our school resource officer Matt McFadden and health professionals to investigate and assess the situation. As a result, the students, staff and our school buildings were not in risk of danger today. School administration and the Avon Police will continue to monitor this situation to ensure the safety of our schools. Thank you to our students and families for being diligent in the monitoring of social media and for reporting this to the district. To help with situations like this in the future, Avon Central Schools will be launching a new district tip line on our website soon.
Aaron R. Johnson
Superintendent of Schools
Avon Police Chief Gary Benedict echoed that their investigation found no suggestion that there was a clear threat to anyone at the school.
“Without going into too much detail basically the kid never ever said that he was going to do anything to the school with a bomb, gun, or anything like that,” said Benedict. “The only thing that he said in any of his text messages was ‘I have big plans for tomorrow.’ […] The family, they were mortified by the whole thing when they found out. They don’t even have any weapons at their house.”
Benedict said that no criminal charges will be filed as a result of the incident.
“In the grand scheme of things what happened was very minor but by the time it made it through social media and everything else it turned out to be this huge incident,” said Benedict. “I think it was handled extremely well by Matt [McFadden, School Resource Officer] and school officials.”
Avon Central Schools’ website is available here.