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Sen. Schumer calls for federal action following multiple 'swatting' threats

Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 05, 2023

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's been a wave of swatting calls across New York State and in Western New York. Last week, Lockport High School received a threat causing nearly 1,300 students to go into lockdown. Several other schools were impacted by similar threats including Buffalo, Olean and Silver Creek.

SEE ALSO: Police in Western New York investigating alleged 'swatting' at local schools

"I was alone in my classroom pacing just communicating with my own two kids who were in the building," Erik Bernardi, a Lockport science teacher said.

Bernardi was inside the high school when the district said it received a threat of an active shooter

"When our principal Mrs. Wylke came on the announcements, you could sense in her voice this was not a drill anymore," Bernardi said. "It was a very real experience."

On Wednesday, Senator Chuck Schumer visited Lockport High School to announce the steps he is taking to address this alarming trend.

"It's terrifying," Senator Schumer said.

Senator Schumer announced a three-point plan that he says will combat these threats:

  • Calling on the FBI for a full investigation and to hold those involved accountable
  • Pushing for $10 million to go toward more federal resources to help tackle swatting
  • Asking that the FBI track swatting as its own crime

"We need more resources, it means we need more agents to track down these evil criminals who hide in the darkest corners of the internet," Senator Schumer said.
School board president, Leslie Tobin, said no one should ever have to go through this.

"No teacher should have to come into any building and wonder if this is the day they have to stand in front of a gunman to protect their students," Tobin said.

Lockport Mayor, Michelle Roman, said many are still traumatized.

"Our community is resilient, we come back from these things, but it has a lasting impact," Roman said.