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January 15, 2014

Pinkerton weapons threat was unfounded

Parents unhappy school didn't notify them

DERRY — Some Pinkerton Academy parents were unhappy to learn of a potential weapons threat on campus yesterday on Facebook, not from the school.

Derry police were called to the high school at 1:51 p.m. yesterday, Capt. Vern Thomas said.

The report was a student was “possibly in possession of a firearm,” Thomas said in a written release.

Police and school administrators located the student in question and found him to be unarmed, police said.

Police determined the information that prompted the call was incorrect and there was no threat.

“No charges are expected to be filed and the investigation has been closed,” Thomas wrote.

But the case isn’t closed as far as a number of parents posting on Facebook are concerned.

Many questioned the school’s response, the lack of a lockdown, and the fact there was no notification to parents or students.

Parents reported, too, that their children who are Pinkerton students didn’t know about the situation until they were off campus.

Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said the information the school received was about a specific student.

Asked whether the tip said the student was armed or might be armed, Underhill said he wasn’t certain.

He said the school resource officer wasn’t on campus at the time, so Derry police were called.

Asked why the school didn’t go in to lockdown and about the protocol for such situations, Underhill said the time of day — when students were leaving — factored in.

When pushed, Underhill said he would reach out to administrators directly involved to get more information.

In an emailed response later yesterday, Underhill said the situation was over quickly.

“We received information suggesting a student may have had a weapon,” he wrote in the email. “However, that student was quickly found not to have a weapon.”

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