HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – After talks spread of a student carrying a gun into Horseheads High School, school officials have confirmed with 18 News that the claims were not credible.

The administration was not informed about the incident until about four hours into the day. Once they were notified, officials handled it according to school policy. When the school was notified about the incident, Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Douglas, sent out a message to inform parents and guardians.

April 19, 2023

Dear Parents and Guardians:

This afternoon, the High School received a report of a student with a weapon. We immediately notified our school resource officer and local law enforcement who investigated the information. They determined that the information was untrue, that no student brought a weapon into school. Know that the report was taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Out of an abundance of caution, additional law enforcement officers were in and near the school throughout the rest of the school day. Unfortunately, as happens, rumors began spreading, and this heightened the anxiety among students. Such rumors are very upsetting, but it is important not to spread information that is not known to be true.

If at any time you have a concern or hear a rumor, we ask that you continue to contact administration or call the Safe Schools Line (607-795-2044 or 1-800-305-4984) – rather than posting to social media. High School students may also use the See Something Say Something QR code. We thank the person who brought the concern to our attention.

The safety of our students, staff, and schools is our top priority.

Dr. Thomas J. Douglas

One 18 News viewer reached out to and provided us with screenshots of what students were saying about the situation on Snapchat, we edited out any profanity.

“Law Enforcement takes over and we have procedures and protocols that we go through, and we take advice from them because we all take it very seriously, and we also take the deeming of whether it’s credible or uncredible from them as well because the determinant factor,” said Dr. Thomas Douglas, Superintendent of Horseheads Central School District.

He stressed that it’s important if someone sees something, to say something.

“…and so, we really have most of our situations where somebody reports something to us or anonymously or through our see something say something app. We have time to work with law enforcement and then they guide us. In this situation, law enforcement was already guiding us,” he continued.

18 News received a statement from The Village of Horseheads Police Chief, Michael Suhey:

“The incident started with alleged comments made by students riding on the school bus. Students on the bus overheard talking about a gun, and the information wasn’t passed on until four hours into the school day. Once the administration was informed, the investigation revealed the overheard conversation was mistaken. There was not an actual gun involved nor was there one on campus. Multiple agencies were involved, and they looked into it thoroughly. HPD appreciated this information was shared with school staff and SRO. We also want to thank the school administration, state police, and area agency.”