Hamden High School reopened Wednesday with increased security after multiple threats within the last week and students are lined up outside, waiting to get in, and the last students entered school more than an hour after school started.
Students will be screened with a wand for the next two weeks while metal detectors are installed at the school and hundreds of students stood in a single-file line waiting to get into the school.
The lines started forming around 7:15 a.m. and the last students didn’t walk through the doors until 8:50 a.m., almost a full hour and a half after school started.
The school was closed on Monday and Tuesday.
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This comes after there were multiple threats within the last week. A threat was made Sunday night and was directed toward the high school community, police said. That threat prompted the school to close on Monday and Tuesday to develop a reopening plan.
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Last week, the school district received a different threat and closed the school on Friday.
Extra Security Being Implemented
The Board of Education held an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss the recent threats and safety concerns at the school.
Staff will begin training on wands effective immediately until the standalone metal detectors are delivered in about two weeks, according to school officials.
Additional security guards and a school resource officer will also be added. Student lunch schedules will also be staggered so there are fewer kids in each wave, according to the district.
District leaders said in addition to installing metal detectors, they are working to increase mental health services for students, including counseling services, volunteer mentoring and a social-emotional curriculum for all students.
Threats Prompt Lockdowns at Another Hamden School
Two students accused of making social media threats to Eli Whitney Tech High School in Hamden are facing charges after the school was placed on lockdown two days in a row.
The first threat, which prompted a lockdown Monday, referenced bullying, police said. A 14-year-old Eli Whitney student has been arrested and charged in that case. That student is charged with threatening, breach of peace and intimidation based on bigotry and/or bias.
A second threat was posted to a different Instagram account on Tuesday. State police said they have arrested another 14-year-old suspect in that case. That student is charged with threatening and breach of peace.
Both students will face disciplinary action by the school, including being barred from returning to campus for 10 days.
State police noted that while they believe these are two independent cases, currently there is a social media trend that encourages students to post these kinds of threats. Brian Foley, assistant to Connecticut's public safety commissioner, said they are investigating threats across the state and that he believes social media is leading to copycat incidents.