2 teens arrested in separate school safety scares

Posted: Updated:
COLD SPRING HARBOR -

Security scares rattled two Suffolk schools Friday, even as the county was rolling out its new program to respond to active-shooter situations.

"If there is an active shooter situation, we will be even more prepared to respond immediately and effectively," County Executive Steve Bellone said Friday after unveiling a plan that will allow every school in the county to connect its surveillance cameras directly to the Suffolk Police Department.

Meanwhile, students and faculty at the Cold Spring Harbor Junior/Senior High School had a school shooting scare before police arrested a student accused of falsely reporting one.

"My initial reaction was that's it, oh my gosh, I felt my life was over," says Keelin Gagnon, who has two children who attend the school.

Police say it was a false alarm. They are accusing a 16-year-old girl of calling 911 and making up the shooting after she had an argument with administrators.

"My teacher got all hysterical and locked the doors and closed the shades," says Olivia Gandalfo, a freshman. "No one knew what was happening, and a few minutes after that, the principal came on the loudspeaker and was telling us we're OK."

Also Friday, outside Smithtown High School West, an 18-year-old former student showed up at the school. When asked why he was there, he allegedly ran out of the building. Police arrested him on a charge of criminal trespassing.

Bellone also said a countywide meeting of superintendents would take place next Thursday. Suffolk police and fire officials will attend, along with the head of the FBI's Long Island office.

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