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‘Prank’ at Westerly High School raises questions

On or about Sept. 16 there, was a message posted in a lavatory stall following a break-in at Babcock Hall on the campus of Westerly High School. The message threatened students’ lives on Oct. 1.

The eventually apprehended perpetrator included his own name on the list. Brilliant deception or message he would off himself in the attack? Westerly Police Department and Westerly Public Schools wrote this off as a “prank.”

Questions: Aside from the stated charges of disorderly conduct and vandalism, was the youth charged with threatening and criminal harassment? Was the youth remanded for psychological evaluation? Were school penalties — suspension/expulsion — ever imposed?

Now the big question — other than the article in your paper (quickly taken down with no commentary allowed), were parents ever notified by the district of what had occurred?

I, until fired, was Director of Emergency Response at Westerly Public Schools. Am I bitter I was fired? Yes.

Do I cease being concerned about kids I served and loved for 15 years? No.

Jim Spellman


The writer also was for many years a vice principal at Westerly High School.

Editor’s note: The online version of the story was posted to our homepage as all stories are and remained there for the standard duration. The story was, however, moved to a position of higher prominence after the initial posting, and this resulted in previous comments being inadvertently deleted. The story, and the ability to comment, remains available in the Police and Courts section under the News tab. The story also was published at the top of page 1 in the print edition.

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