Police: Student Cooperating Following Closure of Amherst Regional High
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — Amherst Regional High School was forced to close Monday following concerns over a post made on social media.
Amherst Police Lt. Ronald Young says that school officials contacted Amherst Police over concerns about a social media post alluding to a gun being brought onto school property.
It forced the superintendent to make a last minute decision to cancel school Monday at 3am, to get the investigation underway. “It’s concerning. Teachers are at the front lines of what’s happening in schools,” said Carolyn Gardner-Thomas, teacher, and parent at the school.
After a tense day, parents finally got some of the answers to the questions they were hoping for from school officials during a meeting at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School.
According to enraged parents, arguments between two students, a white & black male have been escalating for the last week at the school and on social media, where the principal confirms that racial slurs were also used.
Administrators had been aware, and planning on stepping things up Monday. “There were hints that this may have been racially motivated and that this child has used the ‘N-word’ repeatedly and that is what precipitated all of the conflict with this young man,” one parent angrily stated.
“When I was in high school, there were bomb scares, but that’s all they really were, were scares it was a rarity. But these days it’s a crazy world and these kinds of things are real,” recalled parent Steven Vechula.
Other parents were pleased with how the immediate situation was handled. “I think everything will be ok for tomorrow,” Henrique Da Viega said.
Going forward, some aren’t that worried about sending their children back to class. “I know they’re taking all the steps that they can take to ensure the safety of the students and the staff,” added Vechula.
Authorities say that school will be in session tomorrow. The student who posted the threat will meet with school officials to determine what will happen next.