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School incidents prompt safety forum in Epping

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

February 21. 2018 9:32AM
A school safety forum will be held Thursday at Epping High School. 



EPPING — A school safety forum will be held at Epping High School Thursday in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida and allegations against a local student that raised concerns and prompted a police investigation.

The forum will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria and will offer information for parents and students on safety protocols and procedures.

Speakers at the forum will include Police Chief Michael Wallace, Fire Chief Don DeAngelis, Superintendent Valerie McKenney, Town Administrator Greg Dodge, and Catherine Zylinski, the school’s director of student services and emergency management coordinator.

The forum comes a week after a former student at a Florida high school opened fire on Feb. 14, killing 17 people. On the same afternoon, Epping police said they received a complaint about allegations against an Epping High School student that raised safety concerns.

Wallace said a student reported the concerns to school staff who then notified the school resource officer.

Police did not provide details on the nature of the allegations, but Wallace said there is no current threat to the high school or any other schools in the district.

“We take all threats seriously and we investigate thoroughly because obviously the safety of students and faculty is a top priority,” he said.

High school Principal Brian Ernest issued a letter to parents on Feb. 15 stating that the school had learned on Feb. 14 “that a student was viewing inappropriate content related to school safety during the day.” He said there was no specific threat to the high school that day.

“The administration responded immediately by following all established protocols and procedures and activating our safety response team, which includes our school resource officer. Interviews were conducted and an investigation has been completed. At no point in time were any staff or students in danger,” Ernest wrote.

In an unrelated incident, Epping Middle School Principal Coby Troidl informed parents Tuesday of an incident in the morning in which students met with her because they were worried that a student may have “inappropriate materials” at school.

Troidl didn’t provide specifics, but told parents in a letter that an investigation was conducted and it was determined that “at no point were students or staff in danger before or during our investigation.”

McKenney said she hopes parents and students will attend the upcoming forum to hear what the school does on a daily basis to ensure the safety of students.

Wallace also encouraged people with concerns about safety to attend.

“I think it will enlighten them and might put some minds at ease,” he said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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