NORTHFIELD — A seventh-grade male student was arrested Wednesday after allegedly making threats against the Northfield Community School on Tuesday night.
Another student alerted authorities Tuesday night about the potential threat, and officials made the decision Wednesday morning to cancel school.
Officers, along with K-9 units, finished a search of the building just after 10 a.m., Northfield Police Chief Bob James said.
“As a result of the investigation and conversations between the police department and the superintendent, the decision was made to close the school,” he said.
Police searched the suspect’s home that morning as well but as of Wednesday afternoon, no charges had been filed.
No students were allowed to enter the school Wednesday, which was supposed to be the last day of the school year. The last day will be Thursday instead.
Early Wednesday morning, school officials notified parents of the threat and that school might be canceled but did not specify what the threat was.
A message from Superintendent Janice Fipp went out to parents at 8 a.m. making them aware of an “unsubstantiated threat” to the building that was made around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
After receiving the threat, Fipp and two police officers questioned several students between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. who they believed might have information related to the threat, according to the message.
A second message went out around 8:30 a.m. notifying parents that school was officially closed for the day.
Just before 11 a.m., Fipp sent a final message, thanking the departments that had helped with the search and letting parents know that there would be officers at the school for the last day.
“However the investigation is on-going, we are finding out more and more about the threat,” she said. “Please have a conversation with your child tonight and tomorrow before they come to school that we will have police presence at our building. ... As you can understand the police presence is merely precautionary but it will make all of us feel much more safe.”
The eighth-grade graduation ceremony went on as planned Wednesday evening.
Parents filled the benches of the Northfield Community School gym for the graduation.
Despite the incident earlier in the day, parents said they were glad the ceremony was taking place as scheduled.
Michelle Thomas, the parent of a graduate and a substitute teacher at the school, said she was happy with the way the school district and authorities handled the situation.
“I'm glad it didn’t ruin the day,” she said.
Parent Edward Little said he was not concerned when he heard the reports of the threat because his daughter had not made it into the building.
“It's a shame because I'm sure his parents are upset. And it has probably ruined his life,” Thomas said of the juvenile suspect.
Staff writer Anjalee Khemlani contributed to this article.
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