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Medina student charged with making threats
Medina, N.Y. -- An 18-year-old junior at Medina High School is facing felony charges for allegedly threatening to harm students at school.
Mackenzie Barrett is charged with making a terrorist threat. He is being held in the Orleans County Jail. School officials said they learned of the alleged threat last week and notified police, parents and school staff.
Police presence was heavy at the high school Monday morning when students arrived.
Some parents told us they were afraid to send their children to school but felt better once they saw the police presence outside the building.
One father, Michael Brakenbury, said his son didn't feel comfortable after hearing about the threats, so he stayed home.
Brakenbury also encouraged his daughter not to go to school, but she did anyway. He said she has a class with Barrett but didn't know much about him.
Parent Kim Stephens said she and her son talked about their concerns both Sunday night and Monday morning, but decided he should go to school. Kim said she felt like the school handled this well and that police would protect her son and prevent anything from happening.
Stephens said parents need to worry about things like this all year long but also have to have faith in school leaders and authorities.
"We can't lock our kids up at home all year long," she said. "I think you have to have faith. This is the world we live in; your family is going to be protected."
School Superintendent Jeffrey Evoy said the threat was made in a text message conversation that was posted on Facebook. He said someone from out of town read the post and told his parents, who contacted authorities and school officials.
Evoy commended the person who came forward, saying this isn't always an easy thing to do. He said the district will never take any threat lightly. But he said it was a sad day.
"It's a sad event," said Evoy. "When it's one of our kids that allegedly made the threats towards others, but when it happens, we have to have consequences for these actions."
Barrett was being held in the Orleans County Jail. He was also suspended from school. The district said it has never had to deal with an alleged threat of violence like this before, but also said it had no problems with Barrett in the past.