'Abundance of caution' results in canceled classes today for Weare and HennikerBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 19. 2018 10:56PM
Citing an “abundance of caution,” officials have canceled school today in Weare and Henniker, as personnel with the Weare Police Department and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force continue to investigate a possible threat scratched into a cafeteria table last week at John Stark Regional High School.
The decision to cancel classes comes after several buses were delayed or rerouted Monday afternoon when police received a new tip.
Dr. Lorraine Tacconi-Moore, superintendent of schools for SAU 24, said buses had already started to depart for student dismissal when the tip came in. Buses No. 4, 5 and 8, which are normally routed through John Stark Regional High School, were delayed temporarily while police searched the vehicles.
As police were investigating, elementary and upper elementary students were brought into the Atrium at John Stark Regional High School as a precaution, Tacconi-Moore said. Once officers determined the buses were safe, students were allowed to re-board and taken home.
As of Monday night, school and law enforcement officials had yet to disclose details of the latest tip.
According to Tacconi-Moore, conference calls were held throughout the day Monday between SAU 24 officials and members of the Weare and Henniker police departments. Walk-throughs were conducted at Weare Middle School, Center Woods Upper Elementary, Center Woods and John Stark Regional High School.
Tacconi-Moore said the decision to cancel school Tuesday was made late Monday afternoon in an “abundance of caution,” but did not elaborate further.
“We will provide information to you as it is released,” said Tacconi-Moore in a news release. “We understand how concerned you all are and we share those concerns as well. Our students’ safety is paramount to everything we do.”
SAU school officials said the investigation into the threat scratched into a cafeteria table has received their full and ongoing attention, “particularly due to the heightened awareness following the tragic events of Florida” last week, after an ex-student killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
SAU 24 officials announced over the weekend they were putting “a strong security plan in place” at John Stark Regional High School.
“Though there is no information to suggest that any other school in the district is affected by this perceived threat, we are also putting a security plan in place at the Weare Middle School and Center Woods Elementary School,” Tacconi-Moore announced over the weekend. “A highly visible police presence will be in place throughout the district schools in Weare at least until vacation week commences on Friday afternoon.”
Anyone with information about any threat to an SAU 24 school is asked to contact Weare Police Lt. Frank Hebert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Though tips will certainly be accepted anonymously, providing your name and a phone number where you can be reached will speed this investigation significantly,” officials said in a news release.