Medford Students Return to Class Amid Police Presence After Gun Magazine Discovery

Students returned to classes Tuesday in Medford, Massachusetts, after delayed communication about a loaded gun magazine recently sparked outrage among parents.

The school district canceled classes Monday so that teachers and staff could discuss talking points for the students after it was recently revealed that a gun magazine was discovered in the auditorium of John J. McGlynn Sr. Middle School in December. After a sweep of the school, no gun was found.

"We want to see a lot of changes," Amy Detering, a parent and a school employee, said. "It's going to take more than a day."

One of those changes is better response and communication. Last week, Superintendent Roy Belson met with parents and took responsibility for the failure to notify police or parents for seven weeks.

"For years, when something was found, it was reported right away. We don't know the reason why it didn't happen in this case," Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco said.

The chief says a lesson has been learned and new protocol will be put in place for adults in the building.

"If they discover something like a weapon or drugs or ammunition," Sacco said, "a 911 call has to be made right away as opposed to going through the chain of command in the school."

Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke said Principal Jake Edwards has been put on leave as a result of the incident. Parents have since been urging school officials to be more proactive with them.

"We're lucky nothing terrible happened, but I don't want to be the next news story," one parent said.

"When things happen at the school the parents need to know, they need to know right away," another parent told NBC10 Boston.

Belson's fate could be determined at a school committee meeting Tuesday night.

On the Medford Public Schools website Tuesday, officials stated that extra police would be present in all schools throughout the week. Some parents said they felt better seeing the officers with their children, but that they hope the changes last beyond that one day.

"Be truthful about what's happening in the school system," Pierta Dorcean, the aunt of a student, said. "Nowadays, we can't play with children's lives."

Contact Us