A safety update following Thursday's telephone hoax

Portrait of Interim Superintendent John Yagielski

Albany High School was among a number of Capital Region schools targeted by a threatening hoax on Thursday morning. While the high school was the only building targeted in the City School District of Albany, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide additional information to our entire school community about this matter.

Shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, we received notification that the Albany Police Department had received a call indicating that there were shooting victims at Albany High. As a precautionary measure, the high school immediately put lockdown procedures in place so that our staff could conduct a thorough investigation in partnership with the police.

By 9:20 a.m., the investigation confirmed that the report was completely unfounded. Albany High then returned to its regular operating procedures for the rest of the school day. 

The safety and security of every student and employee in our school community is a top priority for us every day. I would like to commend all of the administrators, faculty and staff who responded so quickly to Thursday’s alleged threat at Albany High, and our students for their participation in our response as well. 

We also owe our gratitude to the Albany police and other law enforcement partners who responded so quickly to assist us. 

While there was never any evidence that the information called in to the police was real, we always will respond to any potential threat with the utmost caution. 

We recognize that school communities throughout our nation have been shattered by violence. Our daily security protocols, and our emergency response procedures when potential emergencies arise, are designed with these tragic realities in mind.

Albany police officials have informed us that Thursday’s hoax appeared to be part of an effort that also targeted numerous other schools throughout the Capital Region. Schools in several other states also have experienced these “swatting” incidents – efforts by an individual or organization to make computerized phone calls to law enforcement officials to falsely report security threats.

Should you or your child become aware of any threat or information that makes you feel uncomfortable, please report that information to a school official immediately. You also can visit our Safe Schools and Violence Prevention section for more information about our emergency response procedures.

Your partnership is valued and critical to our efforts to maintain safe and secure learning environments throughout our school district.


John Yagielski
Interim Superintendent