Amherst parents meet with officials regarding school threat - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Amherst parents meet with officials regarding school threat

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Amherst parents met with police and school officials Monday night to discuss a threat written by a student on a social media site.

Scared and frustrated were just some of the words spoken by parents at the meeting. They also said they were happy with the initiatives taken by the school department.

It all started on the Facebook page Amherst Regional High School Confessions.

Usually student gossip runs the site.

But on Sunday night, one post in particular caught the eye of Superintendent Maria Geryk.

A student wrote on the social media site, "I'm packing mostly everyday at school, but since I'm calm and able to keep composure, no one dies. I have it for protection yet ppl still think they can bully me."

Alarmed by this, Geryk closed the high school and alerted authorities.

"We've taken every step to ensure safety before the students walked back into the building," said Geryk. 

"The decision to close the school was a decision we made mutually," said Chief Scott Livingstone of the Amherst Police Department.

That decision is what led to the meeting.

Concerned parents filled the middle school's auditorium, including Sonji Johnson-Anderson, who said the threat has her worried.

"I was very alarmed because of all of the incidents we've been hearing about nationally," said Johnson-Anderson. 

Police eventually tracked down that student, who is in the custody of his parents.

They ruled he never brought a gun to the school and the threat was not substantial enough to keep the school closed another day.

Officials urged the building is safe and said they have a plan in place to make sure they ease students back to school. 

Johnson-Anderson said she is happy the school superintendent and police took action, adding you can never be too cautious.

"You want to take these things seriously. You don't want to be in a position where you say perhaps if we had," said Johnson-Anderson.

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