Friday, January 23, 2015

North High today

This evening, the School Committee received the following information from Superitendent Boone:


Today has been a very busy but uneventful day!  Let me provide an update on two situations – North High School and Worcester East Middle School.


North High School


Marco emailed you on Tuesday to inform you of a bomb threat at North High School and a couple of fights that erupted after students returned to the building from the evacuation due to the bomb threat. Since that time, Marco has continued to work with Lisa Dyer and her administrative team and WPD to investigate those fights and to investigate things that have been posted on social media alleging rumors of school disruption and perhaps violence at the school today. Our investigation has determined that Tuesday’s fights were planned and not related to the bomb threat. WPD investigation deemed that the rumors or threats were not credible. As a result, we made a decision to ask WPD to have an increased presence at the school today.  Additionally, Mrs. Dyer sent a ConnectEd message to parents and staff last night informing them of the rumors/threats that were posted and that the police investigation did not deem them to be credible and that normal school operations would occur on Friday.  Additionally, she informed parents of the police presence that would be on campus today. Also this morning, one of the local radio stations was broadcasting inaccurate and inflammatory information regarding the events that were alleged to occur at the school today. As a result, some parents came to the school to pick up their children early. Today there were 599 students absent.  We anticipated some absences due to the rumors of incidents.


Marco and I spent the entire day today at the school and there were no incidents. He has also held hearings with students from the Tuesday fights and appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. Along with Jen Roy, we have responded to media inquiries regarding the school status and events. I want to commend Lisa Dyer, her administrative team, teachers and students for all they did to create a normal instructional environment at the school.  WPD officers on site today also commented on their professionalism and obvious existence of systems to handle school operations.


Worcester East Middle School


Just prior to dismissal today, a student reported to an assistant principal that they had received a text indicating that a shooting would occur at Worcester East Middle School. WPD was called and responded to the school.  Dismissal occurred normally and without incident. We will continue our investigation into that situation. We feel strongly that this text was related to the other activities within the North Quadrant.


We will continue to monitor social media and other pertinent information throughout the weekend...Dr. Rodrigues and I will also have a presence at both schools at some point during the day on Monday.


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