Mayor: Waltham School Safe After 'Kill List' Threat

The incident occurred on Friday.

Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy on Tuesday assured the community John F. Kennedy Middle School was safe after school officials discovered a “kill list,” written by a student.

McCarthy issued more details on the Dec. 6 incident during a Tuesday press conference outside of her office.

“I’m confident [the school is safe] because it was initially investigated on Friday,” McCarthy said.

See the video below of part of McCarthy's press conference. 

McCarthy also acknowledged the student who wrote the note is no longer in school.

The incident began on Friday when a teacher discovered a list containing the names of three students on another student’s desk. When asked what the list was, the student said, “It is my kill list.” The list was titled, "People who make fun of me."

The student was immediately taken to the office, and school officials, along with Waltham Police, initiated an investigation. The parents of the trio on the list were notified and briefed on the situation.

McCarthy said she had no information on any disciplinary action taken against the four students involved.

McCarthy also addressed concerns that the school district waited until Monday to notify parents of the incident in a letter and phone call. McCarthy acknowledged parents complained to her about the perceived late notice, but she stressed school and police officials were still investigating the incident on Friday night.

When asked if a community-wide phone call could have been made late Friday or on Saturday, McCarthy said, “there could have been, but I don’t know that they had finished the intervention with the children.”

The situation, McCarthy said, was handled according to the district’s incident response system. She also highlighted the school’s security measures, such as recent A.L.I.C.E. training, cameras on the outside of the school, and the Waltham Police officers, detailed to the schools as School Resource Officers, that work in the schools daily.

"Waltham I think is very proactive in this area [of security]”  McCarthy said.

The school district, McCarthy said, will likely ask for funding to install exterior security cameras in the future.

Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson was not at the press conference. McCarthy said Nicholson deferred to her to brief the media.


waltham rocks December 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM
I will be interested to see how this unfolds. I think that the student who wrote the list needs counseling to understand how to deal with difficulties without resorting to violence. The students whose names were on the list also need counseling if they in fact were bullying this student. Finally, good work on the part of the teachers and administrators who identified the issue so that it could be dealt with.


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