Monday, January 27, 2014

"Unforeseen Circumstances"



ARHS
UPDATE 2:00 PM
According to a source close to the investigation police ascertained the identity of the Anon poster with the vaguely threatening Facebook "confession" around 3:30 this morning.

A State Police bomb squad vehicle screamed through Amherst town center around 11:30 this morning heading North.


 Original Post 8:00 AM

Amherst Regional High School is closed today due to "unforeseen circumstance." 

Back before that darn Internet if you wanted to cause chaos at your local school you picked up the phone (or better yet used a pay phone) to call in a bomb threat.



Nowadays it's even easier.  Although this Facebook posting is a tad less direct.    School officials have confirmed they were made aware of the "threat" over the weekend but the robo call to parents on Monday morning gave no indication of why the sudden closure, leading to rampant speculation.

Amherst School Committee Vice Chair Rick Hood also confirmed this morning that the Amherst School Committee was not giving a heads up prior to closing down the school.

The number appearing to the left of the post is simply the ongoing count of Anon posts published on the site.  Interestingly if someone responds with a comment they are not anonymous.





38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Came here because I was sure you could tell us why!
Let us know when you find something out, please?

Larry Kelley said...

Statement being released any minute now. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Yes I figured you will find out what is going on before anyone else.

Larry Kelley said...

I'm at a Budget Coordinating Committee meeting at Town Hall, with two Amherst School Committee members present.

So if the meeting ever ends, I'll ask.

Anonymous said...

Potential reason on the ARHS confessions Facebook page:

2163. tbh im packin modtly everyday at school. but since im calm and am able to keep my composure noone dies. i have it for protection yet ppl still think they can bully me.

Larry Kelley said...

Link?

Anonymous said...

From the ARHS website:

Over the weekend, we received information from a social media post that referenced the possibility of an ARHS student carrying a weapon on school grounds. The Amherst Police Department is currently conducting an investigation. As a precaution and to facilitate the investigation, we decided to close the building. During this time, the building is off limits to all staff, students, and the public. Over the course of the day, we will send out more information as it becomes available.

Anonymous said...

here's an update from arhs.arps.org: "Over the weekend, we received information from a social media post that referenced the possibility of an ARHS student carrying a weapon on school grounds. The Amherst Police Department is currently conducting an investigation. As a precaution and to facilitate the investigation, we decided to close the building. During this time, the building is off limits to all staff, students, and the public. Over the course of the day, we will send out more information as it becomes available."

Anonymous said...

On front of high school website is a statement

Anonymous said...

A call to Fort River-- they said it was a boiler issue at the high school, so no heat and can't have class. She sounded very light hearted and not what I would expect from any sort of violence-scare.

Anonymous said...

And now all the kids get to find out all their "confessions" there weren't as confidential as they thought.

Anonymous said...

Never mind my last comment:

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/amherst_regional_high_school_c_1.html#incart_river_default

(although they did tell me that at Fort River-- about the boiler!)

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/Amhersthighconfessions/posts/276485825838093?stream_ref=10

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, whatever that means."

Anonymous said...

anybody know if this site is connected: http://www.amherstconfessional.com/

Larry Kelley said...

No, it was a Facebook page.

Dr. Ed said...

I think it is quite interesting that (a) there was an initial report of a boiler problem, (b) the High School is off limits to absolutely everyone (including teachers), and (c) Maria G's talk will be in a different building -- although it might be that the HS library won't hold the number of people she anticipates coming.

I am wondering if there initially was a report of a problem with the boiler and when the maintenance guy went in (maybe at 2AM) he saw something else -- something that may be of great concern to the authorities.

While I have my issues with said entities, if what I suspect is true, it isn't about something like this. This is where even I am supporting them, which is why I am stopping my speculation here.

I can, however, say one more thing that people may not be aware of -- boilers increasingly are computerized with the ability to shut itself down if it doesn't like something -- in less serious situations it will attempt to restart itself -- in more serious ones, it won't do anything until a human being pushes a physical reset button. (The basic Beckett oil burner in your home does this.)

It is not uncommon for there to be some sort of alarm and/or automated dialer that literally calls for help. This may not be much more than the MIL ("Check Engine" light on your car -- a cryptic phone call that there is a "problem" -- and for 3 hours overtime (or whatever their contract specifies for a "callback"), a human being goes in to see why the boiler isn't happy -- maybe at 2AM this morning.

I can't see just a facebook posting being behind this -- although have no doubt that all the stuff I have ever written about the authorities being able to track down the exact computer from which an "anonymous" posting was sent is true.

Dr. Ed said...

The other side to this is the "chicken little" aspect -- if they really shut the school down on nothing more than that posting, there are questions needing to be asked about judgment.

I can think of situations I'd want to shut a school down for -- when I was teaching High School English, I had not one but *two* incidents where there were students with real guns in my classroom. One involved what I was later told was a *loaded* .357 Magnum and I am very glad he didn't reach into his backpack all period because -- Heaven help me -- I knew what I was going to do if he did.

So if they shut the building down for just this -- nothing more than that vague paragraph -- they aren't going to be able to do it when they have a specific and far more credible threat.

Anonymous said...

"And now all the kids get to find out all their "confessions" there weren't as confidential as they thought."

Or why you want to always remember to log out of the computer when you are done using it.

My immediate thought on this is that it was maliciously done to someone else.

Anonymous said...

"which is why I am stopping my speculation here."

Sure, Ed. That's why you kept on speculating. Because you can't help it.

Anonymous said...

"have no doubt that all the stuff I have ever written about the authorities being able to track down the exact computer from which an 'anonymous' posting was sent is true"

Nobody ever doubted their ability, Ed. What I find both mystifying and somewhat hilarious is your apparent continuing belief that they would be *willing* to do so for you, simply because you don't like what someone says about you online.

Anonymous said...

NSA bitches

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Do we know what the outcome of the investigation is?? I assume youthful kids being stupid in a medium that can actually get them in trouble.

Anonymous said...

I guess that there was a racial component to this story?

If so, is there an express lane we can go through to get through the self-loathing, self-recrimination, and shifting of blame onto the community that will necessarily go on?

Larry Kelley said...

The Internet is here to stay.

Kids need to figure out that what you do or say on the Internet is forever.

And no, there's no such thing as anonymity.

I still don't get why authorities didn't simply put the kid under house arrest at 3:15 Monday morning (5 hours before school start time) when he was first identified.

Anonymous said...

I still don't get why authorities didn't simply put the kid under house arrest at 3:15 Monday morning (5 hours before school start time) when he was first identified.

Larry, what exactly is there if the kid denies everything? "I'm carrying" -- carrying what? a gun? a camera? a cell phone to call the police?

Unless the bomb squad found something, and they may have, what'd they have on this kid?

Anonymous said...

We walk a fine line between the "kids do stupid things sometimes" way of thinking and taking these incidents very very seriously, considering the loop of school violence we've been stuck in these past years. It's gotten downright scary sending our kids to school and not knowing if there's a disturbed child (for whatever reason - bullying, abuse, etc) walking around who's gotten hold of a firearm. I hope this particular child and family are given some serious counseling and watching over.

Anonymous said...

to 1:29 pm - In this day and age, "I'm carrying" is a threat. It's naive to think otherwise. Of course it's not a cell phone or a camera. It means they are carrying (or want people to believe they are carrying) a gun. No one says that particular phrase in innocence. They know it and we know it. Guns were in this kid's house and we all know that 'under lock and key' is meaningless if someone wants a gun. That's been proven, unfortunately, time and time again.

Anonymous said...

He didnt say carrying, he said packin, which could mean gun or knife. That wasn t quite as disturbing as him saying since he is composed noone dies. That is a threat. Any parent that believes there are no knives in our schools are naive and most likely believe all the survey posters too.

Anonymous said...

Larry, Any idea why the Schools Finance Director was let go?

Larry Kelley said...

Rob Detweiler?

Anonymous said...

That's what I heard.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be serious consequences to this student for his threat to the students of the high school. Suspension? Expulsion? And there need to be serious consequences to the students who bullied him.
Why does no one believe this student's threat that he was packing a weapon? I take that seriously.


Anonymous said...

Well, thank God he wasn't packing a Snickers bar.

Anonymous said...

The editorial in today's Gazette was very informative. The casual use of the variation of the "n" word by todays youth is disturbing. It is used often, mostly by boys, in the high school and I hear it often at games. It is time to end that.

Anonymous said...

His Facebook post was dated the 18th
and not noticed until the 26th.

So he was still going to school to have bullying incidents happen
throughout the week.

First one happened in front of the main office area with Dave Slovin intervening.

Then on Friday in a hallway were Mark Moraity intervened, but this time there was physical contact.

After lunch it happened again, and a yellow sheet of paper was brought down to HR and given to Mrs Mazur informing her of the days events.

Anonymous said...

Thats pretty bad, and quite typical that nothing was done. I wonder what parent actually noticed the post and expressed concern.

Larry Kelley said...

The post was submitted on the 18th but not actually published until the 25th.

Maria Geryk noticed it on the 26th and closed the school on the 27th.