Students, teachers, and staff at the Scituate High School and Middle School facility were instructed to shelter in place around 9:30 a.m. today while local and State Police investigated a potential threat there.
Everyone was allowed to leave about 1:30 p.m. No one was hurt and nothing suspicious was found during a search of the building.
Scituate Police Chief Donald R. Delaere, Jr., declined to describe the nature of the threat, saying the investigation is continuing.
“We are extremely concerned that an individual or group of individuals created a sense of fear among the students, teachers and staff at Scituate High School and Middle School,” Chief Delaere said. “We want to send a strong message to those behind these threats – that these actions will not be tolerated. We will identify, arrest and prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law.”
Chief Delaere said his department received information about the possible threat at about 9:35 a.m. today. Scituate Police immediately responded, assisted by the Rhode Island State Police and Coventry Police Department. Students, teachers and staff were instructed to shelter in place, which means to remain in their classrooms, while police officers and troopers secured the building.
Faculty of Scituate school department received the following e-mail from Scituate School Department at 12:02 pm on Wednesday;
At approximately 9:35, Principal Zajac was informed by a parent that students were overheard talking about a “school shooting” that might occur at 12:00 today. In an abundance of caution, the Middle/High school building was put in shelter in place at 9:45. This means that students remained in their classrooms until further notice.
Working with Scituate Police Department, the building and grounds perimeters were secured. The police performed a thorough sweep of the building to ensure safety of students and staff. Once the building is cleared by the police, the shelter in place will be lifted and normal daily operations will continue.
While this event was exceptionally disruptive to all involved, it was necessary to ensure safety. There will be an increased police presence to continue to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
After the building was searched, students, faculty, and staff were allowed to leave about 1:30 p.m.
Chief Delaere thanked Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, and Colonel John S. MacDonald, Chief of the Coventry Police Department, for their assistance.
Chief Delaere said there will be increased security at all schools in town through the last day of school next Tuesday (June 20), with the assistance of State Police. He also noted that school administrators and counselors will be available if parents or students have any questions or concerns.
“Law enforcement takes these threats very seriously,” Colonel Assumpico said. “We want to assure the residents of Scituate, and the rest of Rhode Island, that we will do everything we can to help keep our schools and communities safe.”