Death threats continue at Walton schools

By Matt Porter

June 4, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM EDT

Walton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) An anonymous Facebook poster has left five death threats online aimed at Walton Central Schools in the past five months.

It's a reality of social media that has riled residents in the otherwise quiet Delaware County community. They want action.

Angela Sargent has three children in elementary school at Walton.

She and other mothers are upset the anonymous poster is still trolling the internet -- and their lives.

"Yes, we're frustrated," Sargent said, "We're very frustrated."

Alisa Juhl has four kids in Walton. Since the threats began in January, she said she worries every day if they'll be safe.

"It's hard to get through the day," Juhl said, "I know they're safe, I put all of my trust in our school and our police force, it's just still that fear."

She asked, "When does it stop, when does it become enough?"

Walton Central School District Superintendent Dr. George Mack said cyber criminals are new to the village.

"The electronic frontier that has occurred in America has opened up pathways for criminal behavior," Mack said, "And our village and our school district is not insulated from such criminal behavior."

The latest threat came on Monday and was aimed at the Townsend Elementary School. The threat included the word "die" and mentioned the Townsend School by name.

Mack said although tracking down these types of threats are new, the means of securing his schools are not.

The district adds security either across the board, or to a particular location when a threat is made.

Although bags were not searched this time at Townsend, it has been a policy to do so if a credible threat exists.

Mack said he will take whatever steps are necessary to secure the schools.

"The schools are safe," he said, "We would not be open if they were not."

Walton Police are working with Facebook to find out where the messages originated

Police Chief Brian Laauser said residents can help by reporting any suspicious postings to the police.

"The more items we get, the more IP addresses we have in trying to track this person down," Laauser said.

He said he has no doubt the village will find the poster.

"They will be caught," Laauser said, "This is going to stop from Walton."

For parents like Angela Sargent, the wait is agonizing.

"I do feel that they are safe, but there's that little what if, the what if," Sargent said.

Residents with any information are asked to call the Walton Police Department at (607) 865-5400.

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