MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin, Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Chief Todd Fitzgerald and Essex Police Chief Paul Francis report that the Manchester Essex Regional School District and the two municipal police departments serving the district are investigating after a threat was reportedly uttered against the Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School community.
On Tuesday morning, School Resource Officer Andrea Locke was notified by a school parent that, at sometime over the past week, a student was overheard making concerning and possibly threatening statements against the Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School.
Consistent with the policies and procedures in place to respond to threats, high school and district administration were notified and an investigation was launched. The suspect was quickly identified and it was soon determined that the suspect is not currently attending school.
While the investigation remains active and ongoing, the investigation at this time indicates that there is no credible threat against the school. Out of an abundance of caution, staff, students and families may notice an increased police presence at the middle high school. The MERSD has strong working partnerships with the Manchester-by-the-Sea and Essex Police Departments, and all three entities train together on response and investigatory procedures for school threats.
“Please know that we are here to support your children and that their safety and wellness are paramount,” Superintendent Beaudoin said. “By making this incident public, our intent is to reassure students, staff and families that we have procedures in place for their safety and that safety planning and training are major priorities at MERSD.”
Each MERSD school has a crisis plan in place derived from the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) protocol. This plan is reviewed and practiced regularly with staff and students and addresses situations ranging from evacuation and lockdown to an aggressive intruder. In addition to school-based safety teams, a MERSD team and the police departments meet quarterly to review and update procedures.