Student Who Made Gun Death Threat Still in School

There was a heavy police presence outside North Hampton School and many parents had their children stay home after one student threatened to kill another with a shotgun.

[Story originally posted at 12:03 p.m. as a follow-up to an earlier report. Updated at 1:31 p.m.]

North Hampton police are investigating allegations that an 11-year-old North Hampton School student threatened to shoot and kill a classmate with a shotgun while on school grounds last week after allegedly telling the classmate he "hated him."

Chief Brian Page said the student who made the threat hasn't been removed from the school.

"As of this morning at 0745 hours on Friday and today the child was going to remain in school, per the decision of the Principal and the Superintendent," wrote Page in an e-mail on Monday. "I am not aware if that decision has changed since." 

Numerous parents contacted Patch Sunday night and Monday morning about the incident, which police said occurred at about 3 p.m. on Sept. 26.

Page said his department, which had a heavy police presence at the school Monday morning, will continue to conduct interviews and speak with witnesses "in order to determine if the department can obtain enough competent evidence to move forward with court action on the allegations," which were first reported to police at 8:15 a.m. on Sept. 27.

"Of course the police department will continue to work with the school to ensure the utmost safety of all the students and staff who view the school as a safe haven, where threats such as this should not ever take place," said Page.

Many parents have expressed to Patch various concerns about the safety and wellbeing of local children due to the incident, and many said they weren't comfortable having their children in school Monday.

The parents of the victim wrote in an e-mail that their child has been the target of bullying from the other student for the past two years. The bullying has included verbal abuse, hitting, kicking, pushing and other forms of physical abuse, in addition to at least one attempt to feed urine-soaked carrots to the victim, according to the victim's parents.

The parents of the victim say they "feel deeply the child and any situation or stress that may be causing" the child's behavior, and the parents say they are coming forward now in order to allow other families "to make safety decisions" — not because they're seeking retribution against the other student. 

"We are not even looking for disciplinary action, we are looking for the school to intervene appropriately and use its resources to help this child in a meaningful way," wrote the parents of the victim.

Police and school administrators were scheduled to meet Monday about the matter. 

NHS Principal Peter Sweet couldn't be reached for comment, but did e-mail parents in response to the incident.

"My first responsibility is to ensure the safety for all students," wrote Sweet in the e-mail, which was sent to Patch by a parent. "With the help of Chief Page, I am confident that this was accomplished on Friday. My role as an educator is to help each child to learn from their mistakes. Please understand, due to confidentiality that is the right of every student and family, I am not at liberty to share specific information about this incident. I hope you know that throughout my career I have always cared deeply about the safety of every student and staff member in our community."

Ashley DuBack September 30, 2013 at 09:50 PM
No matter what the "facts" are, a child was bullied for 2 years! 2 YEARS! How can that be? How can a kid force, or try to force, another kid to eat urine-soaked carrots and no one see it? I just don't understand.
Peter Casella September 30, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Ashley that is a fabricated story. Do u think the school or the kids parents would let that go on for 2 years? I think not. The "bullied" kids parents are trying to slander the other kid and take the focus off the fact that he threatened the "bully" first.
NikB September 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM
I went to this school K-8th grade and would like you all to know that that school doesn't do a SINGLE THING about being bullied. I was bullied in that school by a couple of girls and when my mother and I approached Peter Sweet and other staff about it, they did absolutely nothing. We would have had better luck talking to a wall than talking to them. The fact that this child has been bullied for two years is awful and I feel for the student. The student whom said he was going to shoot the other was probably being bullied himself! I cannot believe that there is still such an issue with bullying at that school to this day. (I am currently a junior in college.) What is it going to take to get them to change their bullying "policies"? One step in the right direction would be to get rid of Peter Sweet and his "policies against bullying". If anything he and the others there enable it.
Ashley DuBack October 01, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Peter, I would hope that it wouldn't go on for 2 years, but in one of these articles it was said that there were complaints but they didn't fall into the "bullying guidelines" or whatever they called it. How can any bullying now fall into those guidleines?! If it's a fabricated story, why did it go far?! Nikb, youre probably 100% right, the bully is probably bullied too. Most likely by someone who is much older than them.
Ashley DuBack October 01, 2013 at 09:21 AM
Fingers were going too fast. Sorry for the typos.


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