DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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January 23, 2014

Parents upset with potential threat at Pinkerton

DERRY — Some Pinkerton parents were unhappy to learn of a potential weapon threat on the high school campus last week.

That included finding out more about what happened from Facebook than from the school itself.

Derry police were called to the high school on Jan. 14 at 1:51 p.m. last Tuesday, Capt. Vern Thomas said, to deal with a report that a student was “possibly in possession of a firearm,” Thomas said in a written release soon after the incident.

Police and school administrators located the student in question and found him to be unarmed, police said.

Police determined the information that prompted the call was incorrect and there was no threat.

“No charges are expected to be filed and the investigation has been closed,” Thomas wrote.

But many questioned the school’s response, the lack of a lockdown, and the fact there was no notification to parents or students.

Parents also said their children attending Pinkerton didn’t know about what happened until they were off campus that day.

Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said the information the school received was about a specific student. He said the school resource officer wasn’t on campus at the time, so Derry police were called.

Undershill stressed how quickly the situation was resolved.

“Upon receiving the information, we followed safety protocol by immediately contacting the Derry Police Department, which quickly responded, quickly determined the student in question had no weapon, and quickly determined there was no threat,” he said.

Had police determined the information was credible, “additional steps would have been taken,” he said.

Asked why the school didn’t go in to lockdown and about the protocol for such situations, Underhill said the time of day — when students were being dismissed — factored in.

Police supported the school’s decision.

“The school did everything they needed to do,” Thomas said when contacted Friday. “We had a student under our supervision as soon as we got there.”

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