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‘Non-credible, Internet threat’ made against Southold school, prompting police presence Tuesday

An unspecific Internet threat prompted Southold Town police to add a presence at the Southold Junior-Senior High School Tuesday, according to the district.

In a letter from superintendent Anthony Mauro and high school principal Terence Rusch, the district said police contacted the school administration Tuesday morning and informed them of a “non-credible, Internet threat naming Southold Junior-Senior High School.”

“The Southold Police Department, along with partnering agencies, confirmed the social media threat has been impacting local schools in the New York area,” the letter said. “The anonymous chat site Omegle is being used to circulate the message.”

Police were at the school “out of an abundance of caution,” the letter said.

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance,” the letter said.

Omegle is not a new platform, having launched in 2009. But it began to spike in popularity during the pandemic as people were isolated at home, the New York Times reported in 2020

In December, schools across the East End and the country saw a heightened police presence after a social media threat went viral primarily on TikTok. The threat of possible shootings was deemed not credible and no incidents were ultimately reported.