EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 20, 2013

No new details in "hit list" investigation

By Dustin Luca
dluca@eagletribune.com

---- — ANDOVER — An investigation into last week’s alleged student-generated “hit list” at West Middle School is ongoing, but officials aren’t shedding light on any new details at this time.

According to reports, an eighth grade boy at the school was allegedly talking to a friend about a hit list last week. When he was confronted by administrators, a document was discovered with the names of other students at the school on it.

In a press release, the school district said that “all appropriate and necessary measures have been taken in this instance to prevent any threat of danger in the school.”

Federal and state privacy laws prevent any details on specific disciplinary action from being made public, according to the release.

Police are also not offering any details, except to say that it is under investigation to determine if the student involved in it acted criminally.

“There was a list that was supposedly produced,” Police Lt. James Hashem said. “There was no mention of any weapons.”

Calls to several members of the West Middle School community, including officials with the school’s Parent Advisory Council, were not returned.

Superintendent Marinel McGrath couldn’t be reached for comment. Assistant Superintendent Paul Szymanski said that no new information was available following the press release being issued last week.

West Middle School’s Family Handbook says that hazing, extortion, violence, or threats thereof “directed towards another student or school personnel” are “examples of behaviors that may result in suspension.”

Additionally, “any breaches of Federal law, Massachusetts State law, or bylaws of the Town of Andover may be handled in cooperation with the local police department and may result in expulsion,” the handbook says.