SOUTHINGTON – Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan has again reached out to parents after reports of a threat, connected to a recent racist video posted online by a student, prompted an increased police presence at Southington High School.
Connellan said, in a letter emailed to parents and school staff, that he received two communications from parents Tuesday afternoon and evening indicating that they were aware of a rumored threat directed toward the school. One of the parents said that this information had been posted on social media.
“The information was forwarded to the Southington Police Department and it was investigated,” said Connellan. “The investigation found that the rumors were generated by general student discussions and comments at school related to the video incident last week. Parents were then commenting on social media about their children’s reports to them regarding what was said at school.”
Connellan said the police found no new information to substantiate the claim of a threat directed at the school. However, there will still be an increased police presence at the school to help re-assure students, parents and staff.
Connellan encouraged parents to re-assure their children that there “is no credible evidence that a threat directed toward Southington High School ever existed.”
“Rumors spread on social media should remind us again, that this is one of the negative things about social media - the ability to spread false information quickly, over a wide range of consumers,” said Connellan. “Just because something is posted on a social media platform does not mean it is true. Nonetheless, ‘if you hear something, say something’ still applies and we do encourage students, parents and staff to share information with the administration.”
Connellan said that the school system has had “tremendous support” from community partners such as the Southington Police Department.
“We will address every instance in which it is believed there is a threat to student and staff safety and we will continue to communicate that information to you,” Connellan said in his letter. “Thank you for your support and helping us maintain a safe, calm environment for teaching and learning during these last three extremely busy days before the December break.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.