Leaders in Ithaca education reflect on challenging days after bomb threat, shelter-in-place incidents

Hours after entering lockdown and shelter-in-place protocols schools in the Ithaca-area were reopened. It marked the end of a stressful few days in the city and school community.

Parents and caregivers were given the green light to pick up their children during the late-afternoon hours. They were initially told to stay home, and stay away from elementary, middle, and high school campuses as police pursued a man with a gun.

All after school activities were canceled as result of the incident.


Police didn’t provide an update on the investigation. However, leadership at Cornell University expressed frustration over the stress of the last few days.

“For all of us here on campus, it’s been a difficult, frightening few days. Sunday’s bomb scare, followed, just two days later, by today’s shelter-in-place while a gunman was being pursued near North Campus, would have been stressful enough in ordinary times. As it is, they add still further to the disruption and strain of the last 20 months that we are all feeling already,” Cornell President Martha Pollack said. “I want to publicly thank our Cornell University Police Department for their swift response to both these episodes, as well as the many other local and regional law enforcement agencies for all of their work to keep our community safe. Thanks go, as well, to the Cornell staff, especially the Cornell Emergency Services personnel; the Ithaca Fire Department; and Bangs Ambulance; who responded swiftly and professionally to these potential crises. And I am grateful to everyone, across our community, for remaining calm, and following the instructions needed to deal with these emergencies. I hope, with all of you, that the weeks remaining before our much-needed Thanksgiving break will be peaceful ones.”

She urged students to reach out to families and friends as a means of taking care of themselves. The school experienced a bomb threat over the weekend, marking the beginning of several days of confusion and chaos.


Original: Cornell, Ithaca High School enter lockdown due to incident involving person with gun

For the second time in a matter of days Cornell University was on alert after an incident on Tuesday involving an undisclosed person with a gun.

Campus officials tweeted that students were to ‘shelter in place’ around 2 p.m. They said that local police were pursuing a man with a gun in Cayuga Heights north of campus.


The Ithaca Voice reported that Boynton Middle School, Ithaca High School, and Cayuga Heights Elementary School were all placed into forms of lockdown during the afternoon hours while the investigation unfolded.

The incident itself did not take place at any of the schools. However, officials from Ithaca city schools and Cornell University took no chances – telling students to shelter in place.

Parents were also told not to pick up their students until an ‘all clear’ was given.

RELATED: Bomb threat at Cornell, other Ivy League schools leaves community concerned (FL1 News)



Get the latest headlines delivered to your inbox each morning. Sign up for our Morning Edition to start your day. FL1 on the Go! Download the free FingerLakes1.com App for Android (All Android Devices) or iOS (iPhone, iPad).