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April 28, 2018

Dear Parents,

On the evening of Friday, April 27, 2018, about 30 parents and some students attended an open
forum at Dansville High School to discuss social media rumors and school safety. Chief Perkins
of the Dansville Police Department also joined the event.

Parents raised concerns about bullying behavior in general and reports of school violence in the
news. Parents asked about the local rumors of threatened violence and the District’s response.
Parents recommended workshops for adults on social media and bullying. They asked for more
detailed communication and requested a “town hall” style meeting once each month to discuss
concerns. Parents asked about day-to-day security and suggested that students should be able to
provide anonymous tips using their mobile devices.

Parents who attended the forum and those who called on Friday morning learned the following:

 On Thursday, April 19, 2018, a bullying incident occurred among certain boys at DHS.
The target of the bullying reacted angrily and lashed out verbally. The incident was
investigated by school administrators and police and we determined that no credible
threat was made. Parents were contacted, all of the boys were disciplined, apologies were
exchanged and the matter was resolved within 24 hours.
 Conversations among some students after the incident occurred became increasingly
exaggerated and stories were further inflated through text messaging and social media
exchanges. Rumors were further inflamed when adults suggested to teenagers that they
should warn friends to avoid school on Friday (which they did).
 District officials learned of the social media chatter on Thursday afternoon (4/26/18) and
in conjunction with law enforcement, we investigated the rumors and traced them back to
their source. We confirmed that the rumors were false. Thursday evening, the
Superintendent issued a statement via voice broadcast, e-mail and text reproduced below:

Student and employee safety is our highest priority. We investigate all threats and
alarming rumors. This afternoon I was made aware of a rumor spread on social
media that warned about an act of violence that might occur on campus Friday,
April 27.

Superintendent Dansville, New York 14437 School Business Official
Phone (585) 335-4000
Fax (585) 335-4002
This rumor has been thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and district
administration. We have determined that the rumor is unfounded. Please call my
office on Friday if you have any questions. Thank you and have a great evening.

 Later that evening, an individual from outside our community posted a photograph of a
non-specific threat written on a bathroom wall at another school district and attached the
photograph with the above statement issued by the District. District administration
learned of this statement on Friday morning and the significant concerns that were raised
when it was shared. The threat in the photograph was not written on any of the walls
at the District and no such threat was made by anyone at the District.
 As a result, parents who remained concerned kept their children home on Friday. We
experienced a 25% to 48% absentee rate on Friday depending on grade level. Average
attendance, which is usually above 95% dropped to 63%.

During the forum, parents learned about the supports that we have in place for students in each
building including counselors, psychologists, the School Resource Officer from the Livingston
County Sheriff’s Department, our Livingston County social worker and our drug and alcohol
counselor from CASA. We talked about security plans in place, drills and surveillance. I shared
that we are conducting a district-wide security audit and including recommendations from the
audit into capital improvement planning.

Teenagers sometimes make mistakes. It’s our job to help them see those mistakes, own up to
them, issue consequences as appropriate, forgive, and help them come back into the fold.
Together, we can guide them and learn from one another to ensure that our kids remain
safe. Parents are invited to our next open forum on May 24 at 6:30 pm in the DHS
library. If you have any questions about information in this letter, any concerns about school
security or if you have recommendations, please call a school principal, Deputy Holt or me at

Yours in Education,

Paul J. Alioto