Gun Threat at Middle School Alarms Parents

Gun Threat at Middle School Alarms Parents
Early Friday morning many parents of Bethel Middle School students were alarmed to open their emails to receive the following notification, sent by Mr. Derek Muharem, new principal of Bethel Middle School–
Dear Parents and Care Givers:
I want to address a rumor that started yesterday afternoon in the 6th grade.  Several students were heard talking about a 6th grader bringing a knife to school. Over a short period of time that escalated  into a rumor  that the student planned to bring a gun to school. This is not true and I want you to know that your children are safe. Ms. Chapman began an investigation yesterday afternoon and Detective Morris from the Bethel Police Department and another officer then  went to the child’s house last night and spoke to the child and his parents. There was no evidence that led the police to believe any of this was true.  Ms. Chapman and I spoke with the student and his parents this morning.  The student’s backpack and locker were searched and we are confident that this was nothing more than a rumor.  During this morning’s announcements, I reminded all students that if they have any worries about anything or hear of something that compromises safety, they are to speak to an adult and not perpetuate more rumors among their peers. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Thank you,
Derek Muharem
Bethel Middle School
The email was sent, according to Muharem, because the school received “a lot of phone calls and you know how rumors can get, so we wanted to let everyone know what happened.”  Muharem said approximately 7-9 parents called the schools when informed of the rumor. Parents questioned why send out an email to hundreds of parents causing panic if it was only a rumor and why didn’t the email include important information such as if the parents of the boy owned a handgun. If they did own a handgun was it locked up?
Bethel Buzz spoke with Captain Robert Cedergren of the Bethel Police Department Friday morning who had not yet been made aware of the situation by Det. Lynn Morris. Cedergren said that the police do not have to notify parents if the boy’s parents own a handgun and that sharing that information would be up to the school.
Mr. Muharem told Bethel Buzz the parents of the boy do not own a handgun. He said the rumor was started by two of the boy’s “acquaintances” and that it was just a rumor that got out of control. The school made an announcement Friday morning informing students that if in the future any children felt unsafe they should inform their teacher.

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Posted on March 24, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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