Condon Community School

Students Return to South Boston School After Bullet Found in Bathroom

The bullet was found on Friday, April 29, one day after a flyer depicting a swastika and pictures of some current and past staff was discovered on school property

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Students return to the James F. Condon School in South Boston Monday for the first time since a .45 caliber bullet was found in one of the bathrooms last week.

Principal Robby Chisholm is facing criticism for how he handled the incident. A lot of parents were outraged, while Boston City Council President Ed Flynn and Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty called for a full investigation.

The bullet was found on Friday, April 29, one day after a flyer depicting a swastika and pictures of some current and past staff was discovered on school property on Thursday, April 28, according to a letter from Superintendent Brenda Cassellius.

Flynn and Flaherty said they learned of the anti-Semitic incident during subsequent conversations with officials.

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."

Instead, the sweep wasn't done until classes were over, hours later.

Flynn and Flaherty argue that's unacceptable, stating that a full K-9 sweep should have been immediate.

Nothing else suspicious was found but they're calling for a full investigation, arguing that the “lack of action underscores the principal’s failure to ensure public safety.” Students and parents also said they want answers.

Parents and students said they weren’t sure how to feel about returning to the Condon School Monday.

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

"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."

"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," the councilors said in their statement. "All of our children deserve to be in a safe, stable, and welcoming learning environment at our Boston Public Schools."

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

Students return to the James F. Condon School in South Boston Monday for the first time since a .45 caliber bullet was found in one of the bathrooms last week.

"In each case, the school leadership immediately reported these incidents, and BPS Safety Services personnel and Boston Police were on site to ensure there was no immediate threat to students or staff and initiate appropriate investigations," Cassellius said. "Upon arrival, Boston Police and BPS Safety Services walked the interior and exterior of the building and found that there were no other suspicious objects."

"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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