GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 21, 2012

Update: GHS gun threat tied to report of writing on bathroom wall

Gloucester Police maintained what Chief Leonard Campanello calleds a continuing presence at Gloucester High School throughout the day after police received what the chief termed a call from a “credible” source regarding a threat that someone was bringing a handgun to the school.

Campanello noted that police worked with school officials throughout the day and have not found any sign of a gun in the building; also, the school was never evacuated, and classes continued as usual throughout the day. School officials called off a pep rally, and tonight’s girls’ basketball game against Swampscott at GHS’ Benjamin A. Smith Fieldhouse has now been called off. But the game’s postponement is due to a school power outage, and not tied in any away to the reported threat.

Superintendent of Schools Richard Safier said that the call, which came to police at around 6:35 a.m. and was relayed to school officials at 6:42, cited a reported threat made through writing on the wall of a school bathroom. Safier, however, said that no writing could be found by the time authorities responded this morning.

Several parents, however, hearing rumors of the threat and of a gun at the school, responded to the school and were taking their children out of the school for the day. School officials are allowing students to leave for the day without penalty of having to miss any extracurricular activities today or over the weekend, as would usually be the case.

The threat comes exactly one week after the deadly school shootings in Connecticut, and on a day when the nation observed a 26-second moment of silence at 9:30 this morning, the time the shooter entered the Sandy Hook School building in Newtown, Conn., a week ago. Neither of Cape Ann’s other school districts, Rockport or Manchester Essex, have received any threats of any kind, police and school officials in those communities.

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