Student charged with making terror threat

Police will be present at the Stillwater Middle-High School on Monday “as a precautionary measure,” following the arrest over the weekend of a 16-year-old student charged with making a terroristic threat. The student, who lives in Schenectady, allegedly “threatened to bring a shotgun to the school to cause harm to other persons,” according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. He was released to the custody of his parents, and will appear at Stillwater Town Court, although a date was not specified.

Time Warner Cable News reported Sunday that police said the threats were not credible, and that the Stillwater Superintendent of Schools sent a letter to parents explaining that on Friday a high school student reported to administration that he overheard another student make threatening statements. Those statements are alleged to have been made toward other students.

“Any threats of this nature, even if deemed not credible, are taken very seriously,” the letter reads. “The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and Stillwater Central School District do not believe that students or staff are in any danger; therefore, school will be open on Monday, Dec. 21. As a precautionary measure and to reassure students and staff, there will be police present at the middle/high school building on Monday.”

Making a terroristic threat is a relatively recent statute - having been enacted after the terror attacks on 9/11 - although the charge has been applied in Saratoga County on several occasions.

In 2008, Skidmore College alumnus Joseph Gaudrault pleaded guilty to the felony charge and was sentenced to serve four years in prison after threatening the civilian population at the college. In 2012, Brent Dickinson was charged with two counts of making a terroristic threat after he posted emails threatening the U.S. President as well as unspecified elementary-age school children in Saratoga County. He was later sentenced to serve 1 to 3 years in prison related to the threat against children after pleading guilty to attempted making a terroristic threat. The charge related to an alleged threat against the president was to be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office.