After Student Posts Gun Meme, WHS Principal Reassures: We Followed Procedure, Determined ‘No Threat’
Late Friday afternoon, Wilton High School principal Dr. Robert O’Donnell emailed students, staff and parents about an incident involving school safety. Emphasizing an interest in transparent communication, O’Donnell explained that a WHS student had posted an image of a gun to social media, but after administrators followed protocol and investigated, they determined there was no threat to the community.
O’Donnell wrote that the student had posted a meme of a gun on Snapchat. According to O’Donnell, the student was not at school when s/he posted the image, and that there was no threatening language associated with the post.
Administrators were alerted to the Snapchat post by other students who reported the matter to a school counselor.
O’Donnell says that school officials followed procedures in place and an immediate investigation was started. “We determined that there was never any threat to the school community,” he wrote.
Earlier this year, GOOD Morning Wilton sat down for an interview with Dr. Kevin Smith, Wilton School’s superintendent to discuss measures the school takes for security and safety. WiltonPolice Chief John Lynchand the director of human resources and operations Maria Colemanalso participated in the discussion.
During that interview Smith said that security is always a primary focus for everyone in the school district, and that they encouraged the kind of reporting of suspicious events by students that occurred in this latest incident.
“This is a small, relatively close-knit community and so, we absolutely beat the drum of, if you see something, say something. Every person in this community has an obligation to do that. To be aware, to pay attention and, to alert adults when something is off kilter, not right, or they have a suspicion. That’s really, really important. I think that the research bears out when that happens, that’s when catastrophes can be prevented.”
O’Donnell’s note is published below:
Dear Wilton High School Students, Staff, and Families,
The health and safety of our school community is paramount at Wilton High School. As we take all abundant precautions to ensure the safety of the school community, I am writing to inform you of a situation that we handled today at Wilton High School.
A Wilton High School student posted a meme of a gun on Snapchat while off campus. There was no threatening language associated with the post. A few students reported the matter to a school counselor who subsequently informed the administration. Our administrative team immediately investigated the post and implemented our procedures for such incidents. We determined that there was never any threat to the school community.
I feel that it is important to communicate this accurate information to the school community. I also want to reassure you that we will be vigilant in any matter that may impact school safety at Wilton High School.
Please have a restful and enjoyable weekend.
Robert William O’Donnell, Ed.D.