Students safe, individual detained after Hopkinton School threat

Monitor staff
Published: 2/17/2023 3:09:57 PM

A person has been detained by Hopkinton Police in connection with a threat against a student which resulted in all three Hopkinton schools going into secure campus mode Friday.

In a letter to the community sent mid-day on Friday, Superintendent Michael Flynn said students alerted administrators to a potential threat to Hopkinton Middle High School Friday morning. Police were called to the school around 10 a.m.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Hopkinton Police Chief Thomas Hennessey said the police investigation determined that the threat was to a specific student at Hopkinton Middle High School and not to the school itself.

“Not knowing whether the individual would go to HMHS to carry out the threat, and keeping everyone’s safety in mind, the district initiated a ‘stay put’ order for all of our schools,” Hennessey wrote.

Flynn said the decision was made to go into secure campus mode, or “stay put protocol,” instead of a lockdown because the threat came from outside the building. In secure campus mode, schools lock exterior doors and no one is allowed in or out of the buildings, but staff and students can still move freely about indoors.

Maple Street School principal Carrie Sindoni first announced that the Middle High School had entered secure campus mode in a post on the District’s Facebook page around 11 a.m. In a second post about 20 minutes later, Sindoni announced that the secure campus protocols were lifted.

“We want to commend everyone for how well they handled this unfortunate situation,” Flynn said. “Starting with our high school students who reported the threat and took it seriously. They did what we always ask students to do – they reported their concern to the administration.”

Police located the person responsible for the threats in a different town and he was detained, according to Hennessey. The schools then resumed their normal activities.

“It’s reassuring to know that our preparation and procedures work as well as our safety and communication systems were effective to ensure the well-being of our school community,” Flynn said. “I want to assure you that we will continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We will continue to work closely with the HPD to ensure that our schools are safe and secure environments for everyone.”

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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