OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH)– There is an increased police presence in Old Saybrook schools Wednesday, following the arrest of a 17-year-old on Tuesday.
The arrest in Old Saybrook comes just as another student in Colchester was also arrested for allegedly making threats to his high school on social media. Both came after the community contacted police.
The superintendent in Old Saybrook says this is a prime example of people seeing something and saying something. She says it is her job to keep her students and staff safe and she commends police for acting so quickly to investigate these concerns and make an arrest.
“In today’s world we have to be the eyes and ears of our community,” said superintendent of schools Jan Perruccio. She commended the students and parents who brought their concerns to police and so does Old Saybrook parent Sheri Stalsburg.
“We’re really lucky,” said Stalsburg.
The concerns come from comments and actions of the male student at Old Saybrook High School, over the past weeks and months. The senior was charged with Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree which now has a tougher penalty thanks to the Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment Law passed in 2016.
“This statute reinforces the fact that when you make these kinds of threats it is now a felony,” said State Sen. Tony Hwang, (R) Fairfield.
The student is not being identified but in a press release police say he has been remanded to state custody by a judge.
“These kind of threats are a crime against people and it’s a terrorist act,” said Sen. Hwang.
Police say there was no evidence of any credible threat. Still there may be an increased police presence at schools, if for no other reason to let students and staff know police are there to keep them safe.
“It’s getting to a point where I”m afraid to send my kids to school,” said Stacey Rae who would like to see an armed guard at her daughter’s Westbrook school.
“In a lockdown we have to be very silent and we have to sit against a wall until we have the cue that everything is going to be okay,” said her daughter Taylor Rae who is in the sixth grade.
She describes a lockdown drill many hope they never need for real.
“Due to the fact that is an ongoing matter, this student will not be allowed back into the high school at this time,” said Jan Perruccio, Superintendent of Schools. “Obviously I want to thank the community members who brought this to not only my attention but also the Old Saybrook Police Department’s attention.”
Police say the student is not allowed on any school campuses in town until it is deemed appropriate by a court or school officials.