The school offered the virtual learning option after a shooting last week near the Newburgh Free Academy injured four teenagers between 16 and 18 years old, according to local law enforcement. Newburgh is located on the Hudson River, 60 miles north of New York City.
“This virtual model will be an option for any student whose parent/guardian chooses to have them learn from home today,” the school district said in a Tuesday press release.
Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey on Nov. 19 said the shooting started after “a group of teenagers decided to resolve to violence due to a conflict that ended in gun violence.” Victims were transported to a hospital and treated for their injuries.
City of Newburgh Police Department Commissioner José Gomérez said four different handguns were discharged during the incident.
Torrance called on the community to pull “resources together” to help “troubled youth” in Newburgh.
“We are seeing an increase in gun violence in other municipalities throughout the Hudson Valley. We are seeing an increase in gun violence throughout the state of New York. We are also seeing an increase in gun violence throughout the nation,” Torrance said.
Orange County, New York, District Attorney David M. Hoovler on Nov. 19 said law enforcement in the town deserves to be paid more. While Newburgh accounts for 8% of Orange County’s total population, it counts for 50% of crime in the county.
The town has also seen a 19% increase in violent crime since 2020, as Fox 5 Washington, D.C., first reported.