SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 10, 2014

Additional security to be enforced at St. John's

DANVERS — Officials at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers are enforcing additional security measures in light of recent threats made at the all-boys high school.

According to an email that went out to parents yesterday from Headmaster Edward Hardiman, the school is enforcing supplementary security measures, but not because the situation has changed.

“We have worked throughout the week with the Danvers Police on their investigation, and we have made the decision to hold school tomorrow in consultation with them,” Hardiman said in a recent statement. “In addition to the precautionary measures already in place, we are taking a number of additional steps. We are taking these added steps not because the situation has changed, but because the language of the message discovered on Monday made reference to Friday.”

The new security measures include enforcing a single point of entry where students will access buildings; diverting homerooms that normally meet in the dining hall, library and Student Commons to meet in Kaneb Theatre; closing the Student Commons and rearranging scheduled musical concerts.

Two threats were inscribed on bathroom walls at the Catholic school; one on Dec. 19, and one on Monday, which referenced the first threat.

School officials called police Monday morning, and parents and students were notified of the situation Monday afternoon.

There is currently an amplified police presence on campus, and the school is requiring students to use clear plastic bags instead of backpacks, requiring students to report to specific areas on campus during unstructured periods, and limiting and monitoring use of bathroom facilities.

School officials will email parents today at noon and 3 p.m. with updates on the situation.

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