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|No Leads in Latest DHS Threat|
|Written by Administrator|
|Tuesday, 16 March 2004 17:00|
Police are hoping that a reward and community input will lead to a
suspect in the latest threatening note found at Duxbury High School.
Police are hoping that a reward and community input will lead to a suspect in the latest threatening note found at Duxbury High School.
The note was found last Wednesday morning in a girls’ bathroom and has similarities to a pair of notes discovered in January that listed specific freshmen and promised them harm. All students listed in the note and their parents were notified.
“I’d categorize [the language in the note] as a threat to kill the people on the list,” said Lt. Chip Chubb of the Duxbury Police Department.
Chubb did not elaborate on other details of the note including the number of students listed and any specific language, citing an ongoing investigation by police.
DHS Principal John McCarthy said that some of the names in Wednesday’s notes were the same as the two others found in January, but with some new additions. He did acknowledge that similar to the other two notes, this one also listed only freshmen students.
McCarthy also said that the note referenced a weapon, but not that one would be used but that the author could bring one to school.
Soon after the note was found, police increased their presence at the school and a letter was sent home with all Duxbury students regarding the latest threat as well as security measures being implemented at the school the next day, including the use of metal detectors and banning students from using backpacks. A K9 was also brought to the school to conduct a weapons search of the building.
“I know it has been a concern of parents that some feel we are using the K9 as a means for drug searching, but this dog is trained for weapons,” said Chubb.
On Thursday morning, all DHS students were led to one main entrance where to be scanned with the metal detector and have any other bags searched. With one door to walk through, several students waited out in the cold weather before being allowed into the school and some were nearly an hour late for their first class.
Several students voiced their displeasure as they waited in line, a fact McCarthy recognized and said the school did their best for the safety of all in the building.
“The Duxbury police should be commended to get 970 students through one metal detector in a little over an hour,” he said. “Students should also be commended for their cooperation. Yes, some were upset but by and large, students were [cooperative].”
Students who spoke to the Clipper, however were not as supportive of the morning line-up.
“It’s ridiculous,” said junior James Dugan. “If someone might have a gun, why have everyone line up outside all together. If they are going to do something, they could’ve done it then.”
Dugan did say that the increased police presence made him feel safe.
Freshman Kylie Garofolo said that she is a little worried by the latest incident and hopes the author of the note is found soon.
“The person should come forward and tell because it’s not fair to the rest of us who have to line up, walk through a metal detector and carry our books in our hands,” she said.
McCarthy did acknowledge that the delay on Thursday morning due to the line-up disrupted the educational process and that those who were late for first period lost “valuable class time.”
Thursday afternoon, school officials issued another letter for students to bring home that not only asked parents with weapons in their home to ensure they are secure, but also announced a reward of $2,000 for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of an author or authors.
According to McCarthy, a private citizen called Superintendent Eileen Williams and offered to put up the reward money. McCarthy made it clear that this money did not come from the school department’s funds.
McCarthy said that while he is not in law enforcement, he felt the reward could not hurt in searching for those responsible with these threats.
“We are waiting for a break where someone has to come forward with credible information and we don’t have that yet,” said McCarthy. “We’ve had kids come forward and interviewed a lot of kids, but we are not getting that one break that really will stop this.”
Williams said that on Monday, McCarthy and Police Chief Mark DeLuca held individual assemblies with each of the four grades to discuss the security measures being taken and how they can help.
“The emphasis was that no one in the school wants [these strict] measuresÖto continue, but they would for the foreseeable future,” said Williams. “They also expressed that they needed the kids’ help in coming forward with information.”
Lt. Roger Banfill said on Monday that police are continuing to “check every little thing” that comes into them regarding the note, adding it was too early to discuss specific leads.
Police have also released excerpts from the note, hoping that community members will come forward with information on the handwriting or language used in the note found on Wednesday.
“In January, there was some concern by parents [of those involved]Öwho were reluctant [to release parts of the note], but we have to go with what we feel is best to do,” said Chubb.
He added that when an author is identified, that individual could face charges of threatening to commit a crime, a misdemeanor, and making a terrorist threat, which is a felony.
Anyone with information is asked to e-mail School Resource Officer Friend Weiler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Duxbury Police Department at 781-934-5656.