A Walk Down Memory Lane: School responds efficiently to unplanned incidents

The Newtonite

by Hilary Brumberg

[media-credit name=”file photo” align=”alignright” width=”300″]A police cruiser parks in front of the theatre entrance during the lockdown December 13, 2010.[/media-credit]

A police cruiser parks in front of the theatre entrance during the lockdown December 13, 2010.

As is expected in an active, vibrant school community such as this one, there are occasionally unplanned incidents.
October 8, 2008, someone attached a bomb-threat note to the Hull Street door of the old building, delaying the start of school by 10 minutes. The police searched the school for the alleged bomb and deemed that “it was not a credible threat,” according to principal Jennifer Price at the time. It had been the fourth bomb threat in three years, she said.
Between January and March 2009, multiple incidents of vandalism were reported, ranging from molasses spread on Pilot doorknobs to graffiti in English classrooms to raw chicken strewn across the cafeteria. Senior custodian Tim Keefe explained at the time that although the the various acts of vandalism did not physically harm any individual, the cleanup was “a pain in the neck.”
All students ate lunch on Main Street November 3, 2009 because the cafeteria was closed due to flooding.
This school went into lockdown December 13, 2010 after a student’s butane lighter was mistaken for a handgun. Although it was the first time this school used its lockdown procedure in the new building, at the time, Price commended students and faculty for their “amazing response.”
After a foul odor was detected wafting through the building and Newtonville October 24, 2011, this school was evacuated. According to Mark O’Hare, a spokesperson for the Newton Fire Department, the gas was identified as mercaptan, a substance frequently added to usually odorless gases to easily detect leaks.
Administrators and the police investigated a threatening statement a student posted on Facebook before Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Day, which was Wednesday, March 7.