Boston Public Schools

Principal Under Fire After Bullet Found in Bathroom of South Boston School

Two city councilors allege the principal of Condon Community School prevented police from immediately sweeping the building after the discovery of the bullet

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A principal of a South Boston school is facing criticism after two city councilors say he failed to ensure public safety after live ammunition was found in the school's bathroom last week.

Students will return to the Condon Community School on Monday for the first time since a bullet was found, but it's how the principal reportedly handled the incident that has him under fire.

A lot of parents say they are outraged, and Boston City Council President Ed Flynn and Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty are calling for a full investigation.

The .45 caliber bullet was found in a toilet at the school in Boston's Southie neighborhood on Friday morning. According to a Boston police report, responding officers offered to do a full search of the school, but the principal said "he does not think that option was necessary at the time to shut the school down for a K-9 sweep."

Flynn and Flaherty argue that's unacceptable, and say a full K-9 sweep should have been immediate. Instead, it wasn't done until classes were over, hours later.

Nothing else suspicious was found but they're calling for a full investigation into the Condon School. Students and parents say they also want answers.

"It's like we should feel safe in our school because it's school and the teachers say we were gonna be safe, we’ll be fine, but like a bullet in the toilet? It's crazy," said student Hermione Soto, who said she feels a little nervous.

"The school should have been checked, double checked in case there's something... because you never know with everything that is going on all of the country, with school getting a lot of kids shot... so hearing this is a little bit like, unsafe for my kids," said parent Cynthia Gonzalez.

In a joint statement, Flynn and Flaherty said it was a Condon parent who informed them that a live round had been found at the school and that the principal reportedly did not authorize a protective K-9 sweep of the school.

"Due to the serious public safety threat to the students, faculty, and our community," the city councilors say they contacted the Boston Police Department, which confirmed a bullet had been found.

Flynn and Flaherty then requested that Boston police conduct a sweep of the school building and grounds "for the safety of everyone in the building."

"This disturbing discovery and lack of action underscores the principal's failure to ensure public safety," the councilors said in their statement. "When school leadership fails to take potential incidents of violence and hate seriously, it creates an environment that is indifferent to violence and inappropriate behavior."

"All of our children deserve to be in a safe, stable, and welcoming learning environment at our Boston Public Schools," they added.

The bullet was only one of two troubling incidents at the school last week. Swastika flyers were also found on the property. Flynn and Flaherty say they learned this during subsequent conversations with officials.

Boston Public Schools fired back, calling the city councilors' comments inflammatory and saying that both incidents were taken seriously and everyone responded appropriately.

"The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority at BPS," the district said in a statement. "Contrary to inflammatory statements from public officials, within minutes of both incidents school leadership immediately reported these incidents, and BPS safety services and Boston Police were on site to ensure the appropriate steps were taken and there was no immediate threat to the school."

Flynn and Flaherty have had follow-up discussions with the school district, the mayor's office and city officials, and they are asking the City of Boston to "provide a full and transparent accounting of the facts, wherever they may lead," to the students, parents, faculty, and South Boston community.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu wouldn't answer NBC10 Boston and NECN's questions on camera at an event Sunday night, but she did release a statement last week, saying, "I'm grateful to the school leaders and public safety partners who continue to ensure the safety of our students, and will work closely with them to investigate these incidents quickly and thoroughly.”

The school district has said it is cooperating with the investigation.

"BPS and the Condon School leadership and staff are cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities to investigate these troubling incidents to prevent them from occurring in the future," the district said.

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