DA talks to students about school threats, severity of crimes

Posted at 7:20 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 19:20:29-04

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn wasted no time this first day of school getting in front of students at West Seneca East High School.

Throughout the day, Assistant District Attorneys spoke to students abobut the consequences of making threats against other students and schools.

"After the incident that happened in Florida, we saw a rash of students in Western New York posting threats to social media," Flynn said. "We're talking about using social media as a threatening tool, and the dangers of getting involved with people making threats."

Following the Parkland shooting in Florida, DA Flynn created the School Critical Incident Initiative. He assigned each of his staff members to a Western New York school, and will work with the districts on things like identifying a threat, how to preserve evidence in case of an emergency, and how to establish a protocol.

"It's important as educators to work with the resources we have," said West Seneca East High School Principal Jason Winnicki. "We have a great partnership with the West Seneca Police Department and now the DA's office."

In the last year, West Seneca saw between four and five threats. Flynn says after Parkland there were about 20 threats to schools across Western New York.