By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
BETHLEHEM — A physical altercation Monday at Bethlehem Central High School allegedly followed a verbal threat by one student to another.
District Superintendent Jody Monroe sent a letter to families Monday about the incidents that allegedly began with a verbal threat by a student during the time in between classes at the end of the day.
“The situation escalated to involve a total of three students and a staff member in a physical altercation in a school hallway at approximately 1:20 p.m. today, Monday, March 21,” Monroe wrote to parents. “Administrators responded to the situation immediately, which was brought under control quickly with no injuries reported.”
The three students involved in the altercation did not return to classes Monday and their families were notified, Monroe said.
The district did not identify the students involved in the incident.
The student who made the original alleged threat tried to re-enter the school after they were picked up by their parent, according to Monroe’s letter.
“At approximately 2:12 p.m., the student who had allegedly made the original threat became agitated after getting into their parent’s vehicle in the parking lot outside of the high school,” Monroe said. “The student exited the vehicle and tried to re-enter the school while allegedly making additional verbal threats of violence against the same student.”
The student accused of making the threats was stopped by the school resource officer and another staff member, and was escorted back to their parent’s care with a family member, Monroe said.
“The Bethlehem Police Department responded to the incident outside the school when the student refused to leave school property,” Monroe said.
No injuries were reported following the second incident, she added.
The superintendent assured families that threats of violence at taken seriously by the district and the school will work with law enforcement to ensure students are safe and feel safe while at school.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, she added.
“Any student who is making threats against students or staff or who is substantially disrupting the educational process will be subject to discipline according to the district’s Code of Conduct,” Monroe said.
There has been an “uptick” in the number of behavioral incidents in the school recently “that has caused disruption on several occasions over the past several weeks,” Monroe said.
She encouraged families to discuss the issue with their students and to report any threats to the Bethlehem Police Department’s Confidential Tip Line by calling 518-439-1503.