Multiple Threats of School Violence in New England Since Parkland Shooting - NECN
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Multiple Threats of School Violence in New England Since Parkland Shooting

Friday saw multiple arrests and threats of school violence in New England following the events in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Threats of School Violence Follow Parkland Shooting

    A rash of threats impacted schools across New England Friday.

    (Published Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018)

    In the days following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, several threats of violence against New England schools have been reported.

    Schools in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut were impacted by threats or perceived threats in the wake of the attack at Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student shot and killed 17 people Wednesday.

    A former student of the Bridgewater-Raynham High School in Massachusetts was arrested Friday after allegedly making threats against the school on social media. Police were immediately contacted and took the individual into custody.

    The suspect, a 17-year-old from Bridgewater, allegedly posted a photo to Snapchat showing a person holding what police believe to be a semi-automatic pistol. That post read "Florida part 2." As police were investigating, they recovered a stolen vehicle.

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    Charges against the teen include making terroristic threats, disturbing a school assembly and larceny of a motor vehicle.

    Also in Massachusetts, two students — ages 14 and 15 — were accused of making threats to commit acts of violence at Rockland High School on Friday.

    Police and school officials said the two freshmen allegedly called an unnamed Boston television news station around 1:25 p.m. and told them they planned to harm people at their school. The station called police, prompting a police investigation.

    The students believed to be responsible for making the threat were identified and arrested within 30 minutes of the call to the TV station. They now face charges of making terroristic threats and disturbing a school assembly.

    Police said they don't yet know if the threat was credible.

    The 15-year-old was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation, police said. The suspects will be held pending their arraignment in Hingham Juvenile Court on Tuesday.

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    Students at Durfree High School in Fall River were greeted Friday by increased security measures after someone made an anonymous threat online, referencing a Florida-style attack. According to the school district, extra precautions included the use of metal detectors, bag searches and a heightened police presence in the school.

    In Vermont Friday, authorities arrested 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, a former Fair Haven Union High School student, after he allegedly threatened that school. Prosecutors say Sawyer kept a list of current and former Fair Haven students, which he titled "top of the should have died list." Investigators are also saying that Sawyer recently bought a shotgun and ammo.

    In Exeter, New Hampshire, police arrested a 16-year-old Friday in connection with a threat at the Seacoast School of Technology. Thursday, Police received a report that a juvenile had told his friends that he was "going to shoot up the school."

    The juvenile, who is not being named, turned himself in to the Exeter Police the following day.

    In Rhode Island, police could be seen on the roof and inside Woonsocket Middle School Friday. According to WJAR-TV, police were called to the school after a janitor found several rounds of live ammunition in a boys' restroom. The school was put on a two-hour lock-down as authorities searched the building. It is unclear where the ammunition came from.

    Police wore tactical uniforms and had their guns drawn during the search, but authorities have since confirmed that everyone is safe.

    In Avon, Connecticut, schools were placed on a soft lockdown after what appeared to be a threatening message was found on a sticky note. However, police determined there was no threat, and that a member of a school's cleaning staff had written down something he saw in a television report with the intention of getting it translated.

    Investigations into these incidents are ongoing. The identities of the accused not named are being withheld to protect their rights as minors.

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