Academy Academy Scholar Chilling Articles on Guns and Intimidation

OFFERiz Smith-Breslin had just returned from a Christmas party on Friday night when her sister texted her a photo of a handgun posted by an 8th grader at the New York City public school their child study.

“So sexy,” the poster wrote, adding a flame emoji.

The sister also sent a second Snapchat post by someone with the same response. This is a message written in white letters on a black background that gives the first person the chills more.

“Ya will try to find a good hiding place on Monday.”

Smith had just finished reading when her 14-year-old son, Quinn, emerged from his bedroom. He asked what would be a surprising question at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

“Do I have to go to school on Monday?”

Quinn also looked at the gun photo and the accompanying warning. Screenshots of Snapchats were exchanged online between students and parents at Scholars Academy, a Queens school for gifted students in grades 6-12.

Late Saturday, an email titled “Principal’s Message – Responding to Social Media Threats” was sent to the school community.

“I am writing to address concerns regarding a threatening post made last night on Snapchat that is currently being spread among members of the public via text and social media.” Principal Michelle Smyth said. “These posts came to my attention last night and were immediately noticed. The NYPD was informed and responded quickly to the situation. The threat is deemed unreliable, but we will continue to work with the NYPD. The offices of the NYPD and the Department of Education are assisting the school administration to ensure that the matter is fully resolved and that appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Police went to the boy’s home and determined that the weapon in question was a BB gun. The boy’s age prevents police from commenting on any actions they may or may not have taken. His parents could not be reached for comment. The Daily Beast is withholding his name because he is a minor.

But whether it’s the police or just school officials who consider the threat “unreliable,” the threat that comes with the message feels all too real to Smith-Breslin and Quinn, as well. like other parents and students. And it all seemed even more so when another Snapchat started going live, many white letters on a black background that appeared to have been written by the boy himself to a friend:

“What if all the people who annoy you

Died in front of me [u]

Blood on yo’s hand

That wouldn’t feel great

To see them beg, I brought my gun closer to them

All of them…

Their eyes are full of fear

Oh so much


Is it what I’m looking for?

And this

How to find it”

For Smith-Breslin and other parents, the words themselves constituted a threat.

“We were like ‘unreliable’? What do you talking about? ” she told The Daily Beast. “I think that’s what drives people crazy. I don’t really care what kind of gun it is.”

Smith-Breslin posed a question to the school system that was not unusual for a mother at the time.

“What would you do to keep our children safe and what would you do with the child who posed this threat regardless of whether the gun was real or not?”

Her husband, Kevin Breslin, conveyed his feelings in an email to the 27th Community School District of the city’s Department of Education, which includes that part of Queens.

“It is Sunday afternoon at 3:46 pm,” he began. “I have not received a safety update for my son who is a student at the Scholars Academy regarding his safe return to school tomorrow. This is abhorrent, unprofessional, and negligent on the part of the New York City Board of Education. Abandoned my son the way the victim did. I immediately requested an update explaining how my son and the student body will be protected as they progress to the Scholars Academy. Before my son returns to this school, I demand an answer! ”

He added, “After what happened in Michigan, I would like you to reply to my email.”

Breslin mentioned November 30 shot at Oxford High School in which four students were killed and seven others were injured. School officials there are said to have made threats to lower prices that the 15-year-old boy suspected, Ethan Crumbley, posted on social media two weeks before the attack happened. Crumbley also posted a photo of a shotgun that unfortunately fires live ammunition.

District 27 responded to Breslin’s emails as much as school officials did to queries from The Daily Beast about Snapchat posts in Queens:

“Thanks for your letter. Because this is an active investigation, as well as privacy laws, specific information about this investigation cannot be shared at this time. Appropriate action is being worked on and unfortunately, we are legally unable to share the details”.

I didn’t feel safe sending him to school knowing that this boy might be there.

– Jen Callipo

Quinn stayed home from school on Monday, along with many other students. They include Francesco Callipo, a seventh grader. His mother, Jen Callipo, said she was unhappy her son had to miss school and felt more stressed than lost time in class and worried due to COVID-19. And she’s frustrated the school hasn’t come up with a clearer answer.

“They didn’t tell us anything was being done,” she told The Daily Beast. “They just say they’re taking care of it… I don’t believe it.”

She added, “I didn’t feel safe sending him to school knowing that this boy might be there.”

Michelle Arguello has kept her 11-year-old daughter Athena at home. The mother said that on Sunday the girl said to her, “Mom, we should be able to feel safe at home and at school.”

Athena welcomed the news when Arguello told her the school had installed metal detectors.

“She said, ‘You know what, I feel safe now. That would make me feel safe,” said Arguello. “So we hope that those people stay.”

Athena gave her mother a report after talking with friends who had gone to school.

The mum told The Daily Beast: ‘They said it was like any other day, except for the metal check and the bag check. “And of course, a lot of students were out.”

Along with other mothers The Daily Beast has interviewed, Arguello feels strongly that the boy in question should not stay at school. But the prospect of him being kicked out of the Scholars Academy raises the possibility that he could be transferred to Channel View Research School just across the street, where Theesa Robinson’s 12-year-old son, Derek, is in sixth grade. .

Robinson said the anxiety at the Scholars Academy has affected her son. He may have chosen to stay home on Monday, but he has maintained an impeccable attendance record.

“My kid went to school at FEAR this morning,” Robinson reported. “He didn’t want to jeopardize his full attendance and walked bravely into that school, prepared with the safety tactics we reviewed to prepare for a mass shooting. This cannot be our reality.”

Officially, the school day ends without events.

“My 12-year-old came home to me telling me how upset he was, how he thought it was anxiety, how we should rethink homeschooling,” says Robinson.

Meanwhile, Robinson says she’s going to stop telling Derek he carries too many textbooks in his backpack. She advised him on his way to school on Monday how to put them to good use if a threat suddenly proved credible.

“Use your bag full of textbooks and your laptop as a shield,” she told him. Academy Academy Scholar Chilling Articles on Guns and Intimidation


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