Dear Connetquot Families,

As a follow up to my communication this morning, I am writing with a brief update regarding the rumors surrounding a social media posting alluding to potential violence at Connetquot High School. Since that initial posting, additional rumors have been circulating online and in the community. As a parent myself, I understand how these types of rumors can be troubling and create a sense of alarm. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to clear up several misconceptions, provide a brief update on the matter and explain our plan for moving forward.

Immediately after learning of the initial posting on Saturday evening, the district contacted the Suffolk County Police Department and officers began conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. At this time, SCPD has deemed that there is no creditable threat to the safety and security of our students or staff and are hoping to finalize the investigation shortly.  

Out of what I can only stress is an abundance of caution, the district will be expanding and enhancing our security protocols in the days to come.  SCPD officers, as well as a designated COPE officer, will be assigned to our school building this week to support the proactive work of our School Resource Officer and security team. The Police Department has said they would support our efforts beyond this timeframe if necessary and upon request. Furthermore, guests will notice an increase of security protocol at our front gate and both students’ and visitors’ bags will be subject to search upon arrival. Students are asked to leave any unnecessary bags, anything from drawstring bags to backpacks, at home if possible. Lastly, the district will deploy additional security guards throughout the building, both before and after school hours.

I must reinforce, that these efforts are being taken proactively and, in a desire, to ease any uncertainties our students, staff and community have as a result of most recent events. Please know that our district is extremely proactive – not only in light of these events but always. The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority and something that we remain vigilant in protecting. 

One of the rumors circulating social media is that there was an incident or the threat of an incident at the football game on Friday evening. After conducting an investigation into this matter, this rumor was deemed false. However, it does serve as an important reminder to all. If you see something, say something and, while it can be a remarkable asset, social media is often the cause for the perpetuation of the rumor mill and can inflict harm on a very broad scale.

I ask for your help in creating a heightened sense of awareness for the appropriate and proper use of social media and other communication devices. Students need to understand that what is shared digitally – whether it be via text, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or any other medium – is not private. Those thoughts, photos and comments that are shared can be and are often seen, shared and interpreted by anyone, anywhere and at any time. Before the start of school, the SCPD issued a memo regarding this very matter. In the piece, which is posted on the district’s website, notes that they hold a ZERO TOLERANCE policy with regard to these types of school threats and will arrest and prosecute those responsible in criminal court.

Together, it is my hope that we can instill this important message in today’s youth, as we remind them – implore them – to think twice and think critically about the messages they send and the content they share.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main office at 631-244-2228. I look forward to seeing all of our students and staff tomorrow morning.

Sincerely,

Kenneth J. Costa Jr.

Principal