Police in Massachusetts will maintain a visible presence at Norfolk Public Schools this week after threats were allegedly made toward students at one of the district's schools on Monday.
Norfolk Police Chief Charles Stone and Superintendent Ingrid Allardi say school officials and the police department are working together after someone allegedly made threats of violence outside of the Freeman-Kennedy School around 4 p.m. Monday.
According to officials, a staff member allegedly witnessed and overheard a juvenile male make violent threats after approaching students outside the school. Staff members immediately led all students back inside the building and contacted Norfolk police.
Norfolk police say they were able to quickly identify the person who made the threats, and were in contact with him and his parents soon after.
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The juvenile who allegedly made the threats is undergoing a medical evaluation, police said. His name will not be released due to his age.
Norfolk police say their initial investigation has determined there appears to be no imminent threat against the school or students, however the incident remains under active investigation. It has not yet been determined if criminal charges are warranted in this case, police said. No further details regarding the threats were provided.
“I am grateful that Norfolk Public Schools staff reacted immediately to this incident, and that they were able to provide us with information that enabled investigators to quickly identify the juvenile involved,” the police chief said. “We will continue our investigation and our priority is to ensure the safety of our schools and students.”
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There will be school adjustment counselors and mental health staff available to staff members or students in Norfolk Public Schools who need any support.
The visible police presence in and around Norfolk school schools for the last week of classes is out of an abundance of caution, police said, and the superintendent assured families that the appropriate measures were taken.
“We recognize in light of current events that this kind of incident can be frightening for students and their families, so I want to assure the entire Norfolk community that we are working closely with police in regard to this incident and ensuring our schools are both safe, and an environment where students can focus on learning instead of being fearful,” the superintendent said. “We immediately took appropriate measures to respond when these threats were made today, and I want to commend the staff members who were involved for their efforts.”