Pentucket Student, 17, Faces Charge of Threatening School

Pentucket Regional High School.

As Pentucket Regional schools open for classes today, a Groveland teenager is due to be arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence Juvenile Court in connection with an alleged threat Tuesday, through social media, against Pentucket Regional High School.

A 17-year old male Pentucket student from Groveland was arrested at his home Tuesday, without incident, shortly before 9 p.m. and charged with posting a threat to a public school, according to Groveland Police Chief Robert J. Kirmelewicz. Police were first alerted shortly after 7 p.m. when another juvenile entered the West Newbury police station to report a posting observed on the social network Instagram,. It allegedly depicted the suspect with referencing the first day of school and showing what appeared to be a firearm tucked into his waistband. West Newbury police contacted Groveland police and the suspect was taken into custody within an hour and a half of the initial report. The firearm in question was determined to be an Airsoft pistol, which is considered a firearm for the purposes of school building threats. Groveland police, however, do not believe there was ever any danger to the school community.

“Regardless of the intent or lack thereof behind these kinds of social media postings, municipal police departments take any form of threat against a school very seriously,” Kirmelewicz said. “I am very pleased with the level of teamwork that exists among the three police departments in Pentucket region. We were able to locate and apprehend this individual within 90 minutes of the initial report.”

On the first day of school annually, Kirmelewicz said, the three police departments within the Pentucket Regional School District — Groveland, West Newbury, and Merrimac — have an increased presence at all four elementary schools as well as the middle and high schools complex in West Newbury. While that will continue today, officials stress that the schools are safe.

“I appreciate and value the good work of our police departments. They continually provide our communities with peace of mind and an extremely high level of public safety and security,” said Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Jeffrey Mulqueen.  “I am confident that the start of the new school year will be a positive one for our students, faculty, staff, and families.”