Threat prompts stronger security for Geneseo High graduation

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Another school makes changes after targeted by a threat before graduation. 

The Geneseo School District and Police Department said they’re taking steps to ensure the safety of students and guests.

Police said they learned of a threat last Friday, May 18.

They said the threat of violence came from a student and said something could happen on Sunday, May 27 high school graduation. 

Geneseo Police said they’ll be out in force before, during and after the ceremony.

The Geneseo School Resource Officer, Tim Wise, said the police usually have a presence at the ceremony or sporting and other large events, but when students get their diplomas, police said they don’t want that moment interrupted.

In light of the threat, Officer Wise said they’re taking extra steps to make this happy day go off without a hitch. 

Graduating senior Drew Rapps said, “Seeing my diploma, everyone else, all my friends and stuff get their diploma, all the things we’ve worked for for the last four years. It’s just really a great moment for all of us.”

Just a few hours remain for Geneseo senior Drew Rapps and his classmates before they fill the school one last time.

In addition to parents, family and friends, one addition to help send this class of 20-18 off will be a larger contingent of Geneseo Police officers and law enforcement.

Rapps said, “It’s a really great sign. It really shows what Geneseo is all about and that’s keeping our kids and our citizens safe and making sure that safety is first.”

Rapps said when the district first learned of the threat, it prompted a soft lockdown at the school.

“It’s very intimidating,” said Rapps. “I mean because we’re in a small town and you hear about stuff out of the cities, out of the state, and just to have it in your hometown is really eye-opening.”

Geneseo Police said they’re working to be visible throughout the school, but one of the focuses of officers Sunday will be the entrances and exits of the building.

Geneseo School Resource Officer Tim Wise said, “I think it does two things. It reassures people as well I think it causes some sort of prevention when they know there’s going to be law enforcement present.”

For the senior, Rapps sees this not just as a way to keep their graduation running smoothly but how schools and police are working to prevent these threats from turning into reality.

Rapps said, “We’re getting more adept. We’re understanding what to do and the mistakes we made last time, how to correct it, and it’s really a great sign for how we’re progressing as a country.”

Police said they would not specify the nature of the threat as it’s part of an ongoing investigation.

The ceremony will commence at 2 p.m. in the high school’s gym. 

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