The Central Middle School principal Tom Healy emailed families three times last week about an incident at the school involving a threat made by a student.
He wrote that a child had made “a concerning statement” to a group of students, and that the incident was handled immediately.
He said after a thorough investigation in conjunction with school resource officers it was determined that the threat was not credible.
Mr. Healy said as both the principal of Central and a parent of a 7th grader there, he empathized with parents, and that even though Greenwich Police deemed the threat “non-credible,” he requested a police presence at the school on Friday out of an abundance of caution.
In a follow up email he said both the faculty and school-based crisis response team had met.
Then, during a school-wide assembly on Friday, he said, “I assured them that the school is safe and that I am taking every step necessary to accomplish my primary responsibility, which is to ensure the safety and security of every person at Central.”
On Greenwich Moms Facebook group parents posted 68 comments, many saying the incident was unsettling and scary.
One parent wrote that the threat was from a 7th grader who said he was going to shoot up the school.
Some parents commented on Facebook that they wished there was an SRO assigned full time to all the schools.
On Monday Lt Slusarz said Greenwich Schools have two SROs and they are based out of GHS. They respond to the three middle schools and the 11 elementary schools as needed.
Slusarz said the matter had been resolved by the school and there was never any danger to the students.
“A SRO is a special kind of police officer, specially trained and selected because of their personalities, approachability, and ability to do the type of work,” Slusarz added. “They are mentors to the students and provide support to teachers, administration and staff and are an important part of the team.”
On Facebook, one CMS parent who is also a GHS teacher, tried to allay concerns, describing the SROs as top notch. “I am sure they are all over it, have visited the family, done a thorough investigation, etc. I have a student at CMS and am not worried as I am sure every precaution has been taken,” she wrote.
Another parent suggested Greenwich Schools adopt the Miss Kendra’s List Program. It is an elementary school workshop that teaches children a child safety “bill of rights” called Miss Kendra’s List. The website says Miss Kendra is a fictional, resilient single mother whose list is a simple, direct Bill of Rights for child safety posted throughout a school.
Sasha Houlihan the director of communications for Greenwich Schools said in an email, “When the concerns were raised to administration, a thorough investigation took place, and Greenwich Police determined there was no credible threat.”