Student threatens middle school

Warwick. Warwick police are investigating a minor who threatened a teacher in the final days of the school year

| 29 Jun 2022 | 09:22

Warwick police are investigating a student who threatened violence at the middle school last week. According to a statement from Superintendent Dr. David Leach, the school received “an electronic message” that said ‘Ima shoot up the school on Tuesday, watch out (teacher’s name).’

While the district, “out of an abundance of caution,” closed school on June 20, students returned to class the next day – along with a noticeable police presence. According to Chief John Rader of the Warwick Police, the “normal amount of officers” assigned to the school, plus some additional ones, were posted during arrival and dismissal times at the middle school.

Rader said that WPD “deemed the threat to be not credible.”

Leach’s statement continues: “The District is committed to preventing acts and/or threats of violence in schools, on school property, and during school-sponsored activities. Threats of violence against students, school staff, or school property will not be tolerated, regardless of whether they are made on school property or during school hours. While recognizing an individual’s constitutional rights, including applicable due process rights, the District will not tolerate acts or threats of violence that endanger the safety and well-being of staff, students, visitors, or the school environment.”

“This starts at home, with access to computers, what (kids) are reading,” Rader said. He added that police of necessity can only react to, not pre-empt, such threats, however, “We’re investigating, and we take these matters very seriously.”

As the suspect is a minor, and “because of the laws around discovery,” Rader added that he was limited in the details he could offer the public to not jeopardize the case or violate the individual’s ability to get fair treatment in court.

The district offered counseling and support for those students and staff who felt they needed it.

Calls to middle school principal Georgianna Diopoulos and to the superintendent were not returned by press time. The issue is still under investigation.