Teacher at Elmhurst school charged with threatening students: NYPD

Police Car in Manhattan. New York City. USA
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A Sunnyside teacher was arrested and charged Wednesday, July 21 with ‘“making a terrorist threat” to his students, according to the NYPD.

Alejandro Rocha, 52, is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court after he allegedly threatened to shoot his students at I.S. 5, the Walter McCaffrey School, located at 50-40 Jacobus St. in Elmhurst, Wednesday morning.

Rocha admitted to a superior that he had made the threat to his students after they were acting unruly in his class. Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst arrested him later in the day.

Rocha began as a substitute teacher with the city Department of Education in September 2001. He has no prior disciplinary history, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” a Department of Education spokesperson said Thursday, July 22. “The substitute teacher was immediately suspended and if this deeply disturbing allegation is found to be true, he will be fired.”

Rocha is suspended without pay and is not eligible to work for the Department of Education.