Administrators move Peekskill High School graduation due to ‘credible threat’

Posted at 2:42 PM, Jun 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-07 14:42:19-04


The Peekskill City School District has informed parents and students that due to a ‘credible threat’, the upcoming graduation ceremony is being moved.

The ceremony, which was set to happen June 23, has been moved from the parade field to the Paramount Theater after Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen reported a “terroristic threat” made on Facebook, according to

The 17-year-old student who posted the threatening message has been arrested, but police decided to move the ceremony as a safety precaution.

The threats targeted two of the boy’s classmates in particular, “as well as 85 percent of the school population,” Johansen said.

WABC posted the following letter from Superintendent of Schools Jim Willis:

Dear Students and Parents:
We are changing the location of our high school graduation.

We had received a credible threat aimed at the graduation ceremonies and that threat has been addressed by the Peekskill City Police Department. Several discussions have been held between the Superintendent, the Board of Education, the Chief of Police, the District’s head of security and city police. Based upon the recommendation of the police and after great deliberations, the decision has been made to move the graduation site from the high school parade field to the Paramount Theater.

This move is one of precaution and safety. We have every confidence in our security staff and the Peekskill city police that these wonderful graduation ceremonies will take place without incident. We all recognize the longstanding history of the outdoor high school location for graduation, but in today’s society, we also know that taking precautionary steps to ensure safety is the wise thing.

We will be posting many details on the website and elsewhere about the graduation ceremonies and we encourage you to contact the high school if you have any questions. Our focus is to provide the safety and security that allows our graduating students and their families to cherish this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Jim Willis
Superintendent of Schools