After the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, gripped the nation on Feb. 14, Plainview-Old Bethpage School District Superintendent Dr. Lorna Lewis revealed that on Friday, Feb. 16, a student at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy (POB-JFK) High School made a “disturbing” social media post that referenced guns and racist remarks.
The offending photo, obtained by the Herald from a neighborhood source, appeared on Instagram and shows a student smiling while brandishing two hand guns, posted with a racially charged comment by the individual baring the name of the account holder.
In a comment obtained from the POB-JFK Facebook page, Lewis said that following the district’s protocols and procedures, officials notified law enforcement and police arrived at the school immediately. According to the superintendent, police interrogated the student in question and administration took appropriate action in accordance with its code of conduct. The matter is currently under investigation.
Later in the message to the community via Facebook, Lewis said, “We are all heart-sick over the tragic events that have taken place throughout the country in our public schools. Always remember that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is the most important priority at Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. I would like to thank our high school administration and our administrator in charge of School Security for the immediate and thorough actions that they took. This is another example of our entire community working together to keep each other safe.”
The fatal mass shooting in Florida claimed the lives of 17 victims in and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday. The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, is currently in custody. According to published reports, the FBI received a tip on potential violence from Cruz last month, but the bureau failed to investigate.
The mass shooting, the 18th such incident to take place at an American school this year, has left local parents and officials shaken, with schvool representatives reaching out to assure parents of the potent safety measures currently in place at local schools.
“Throughout the year, Plainview-Old Bethpage schools conduct many emergency drills and no doubt there will be more,” said in a social media post following the Florida shooting. “The emergency teams in each building sharpen our procedures annually, allowing all to be clear about response in various scenarios. This incident reinforces once again the importance of these drills and the need for all of us in the community to communicate when we suspect or feel that there is something going on with a student or staff that needs our attention.”
Lewis went on to say that, “We have students who are connected to the Parkland students because they transferred from that school to our schools and some who attended sleep away camp with them. It is important that we keep our eyes and ears open for students who are struggling with this news.”