Author of threatening note at the Hunking School identified

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Sep. 30—HAVERHILL — The author of what was described as a threatening note left in the Hunking School library Tuesday was identified and is not in school today, school officials said, though they would not say who the person is.

Hunking Principal Theresa Kirk said she informed families and members of the School Committee that late in the day Tuesday a student who was in the Hunking library found a threatening note with the first names of several students and gave the note to a teacher.

She said the school resource officer was notified and the names on the list were matched to students. The families involved were contacted by police, as well.

Out of an abundance of caution, the school had a greater police presence Wednesday, Kirk told parents.

Students were released at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday so teachers could attend professional development training.

"We did find the author of the note and that person was dealt with Tuesday evening," Kirk said. "The person is not at the school today (Thursday). We cannot reveal any action taken, but it is safe to say police are not necessary today."

Kirk said due to confidentiality concerns, she could not identify the author of the note, but indicated it was not a staff member.

"We have a zero tolerance for any kind of threat and as soon as the note was found, which was found after school, I wrote to parents to tell them what was going on," Kirk said.

Kirk said the school's main goal is to ensure every student is made to feel comfortable and safe.

"Parents were very supportive and some said that as hard as it was to read my letter, they were thrilled that we responded so quickly," she said.

The school responded by having its four adjustment counselors, guidance counselor and behavior interventionists visiting classrooms to speak to students. The students were offered an opportunity to speak one-on-one with a staff member.

"We're making this available to every student and we are also having Google meets where students can log on and have a discussion," she said. "We're doing that class by class during their free times."

Kirk said it has been difficult for some students to return to school, so addressing social emotional concerns is very important.

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