Mount Everett officials say no threat at school after cautionary email to parents

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SHEFFIELD — A conversation between Mount Everett Regional High School students prompted a response by the high school safety team Wednesday and an email to parents and guardians.

No actual threat was made, and the school day was not interrupted, but Superintendent Beth Regulbuto said the outreach was part of an ongoing effort to be communicative about all school safety investigations.

"I am writing to inform you that there was a safety concern reported to school officials at Mt. Everett this morning involving student conversations that could be interpreted as potential threats," the email read. "The School Safety Team and the School Resource Officer immediately investigated the claim, and addressed the concerns. It was determined that there was no immediate threat to the safety of students or staff on campus, and the school remained in full operation."

While the safety team was divided about whether to even alert parents about a nonexistent threat, Regulbuto decided to send an email in order to reassure parents who may have heard talk about the investigation and have concerns.

Regulbuto said that she knew that by sending the email, there was a risk it would raise even more questions, but she wanted to err on the side of caution.

The district is focused on crafting and tweaking school safety protocols, including what level of communication to have with families, Regulbuto said. The key is to be consistent, she said.

"We're all learning," Regulbuto said.

Last month, suspicious language written on a students Facebook and on a bathroom mirror prompted two separate investigations within Berkshire Hills' Regional School District and Nessacus Regional Middle School.

On May 31, police investigated after a student discovered "bomb" written in lipstick on a mirror in the middle school girls' bathroom and determined there was no threat. Students were, however, temporarily held in their classrooms for a "shelter in place" protocol while police searched lockers.

A day earlier, rumors among teens about a Facebook post indicating gun violence, perhaps involving Berkshire Hills' graduation ceremony, prompted an investigation.

Police determined that the individual who wrote the post was quoting a song lyric and didn't intend it to be interpreted as a threat.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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