OCT. 5, 2017–Late this morning, Wilton High School administrators were alerted about a photograph of a gun posted on Snapchat. The discovery set off an investigation and state of alert at the school, and prompted a letter from WHS Principal Robert O’Donnell to parents at the end of Thursday’s school day.
O’Donnell states there was no reason to believe the school community faced a “credible threat,” but takes any information about potential threats seriously.
In the letter, O’Donnell says that the photo showed a gun with the phrase “get ready for some fun.” It was reported to school officials by a student.
The letter doesn’t state where the photo appeared and what indicated that it referenced Wilton High School. GMW has reached out to O’Donnell to determine whether the photo appeared on a WHS group story or geo story section of Snapchat, and can update when that’s clarified.
According to O’Donnell’s letter, the school’s “incident response team” began an immediate investigation, working with the Wilton Police Department and the safe school climate coordinator. The district’s technology department was also involved in the investigation.
The photo was determined to be one taken from Google Images, and O’Donnell says the post did not contain direct threats. Officials were not able to determine the identity of the person who posted the image, but Wilton Police are working with Snapchat directly to see if that can be determined.
In conjunction with police, including the school’s resource officer, Ofc. Richard Ross, O’Donnell says school officials determined that instruction and school business could continued without interruption. He added that, “Wilton Police were prepared to respond in any way necessary…[and] the building’s outer perimeter remained secure,” noting that his team was monitoring the situation and “vigilant in its observation of building operations.”
Additionally, administrators and Ross maintained a visible presence in the school, which O’Donnell says was “to ensure that students with any relevant information would have heightened access to adults should they wish to make additional reports.” O’Donnell says the investigation will continue “to ensure the peace of mind and stability we demand for all our students and the entire community.”
Anyone in the school and wider Wilton community who may have further information regarding this incident is asked to contact O’Donnell or Ross.
WHS phone: 203.762.0381
Robert O’Donnell email
Wilton Police Dept.: 203.834.6258
Ofc. Richard Ross email