, Salem, MA

March 1, 2014

Carving tool in school no threat, Swampscott officials say


---- — SWAMPSCOTT — Middle school officials moved quickly to dispel any concerns by parents after a student reportedly brought a small carving tool into school.

School rules forbid students from bringing in blades of any kind.

“Today there was an incident where a student brought in a carving tool,” Assistant Principal Jason Calichman said in a recorded call to parents. While the tool could have been construed as a weapon, “the student brought it in for a project and a project only,” Calichman said in the recording. The tool only came to the attention of school officials when the student asked where the tool could be cleaned. There was no malicious intent on behalf of the student.

“That said,” Calichman’s message said, “we take our school safety extremely seriously.”

The school worked closely with police and the student’s parents “to ensure a continuous, safe learning environment.”

When reached by phone, Calichman referred questions to the superintendent’s office, which reiterated the information contained in the assistant principal’s recorded phone message. The school also sent a note home to parents.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.