Haverhill High School Receives False Threat; Police Say No Weapon Found and Student Arrested

A likeness of Michelangelo’s “Il Pensieroso,” more commonly known as “The Thinker,” at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A Haverhill High School student was arrested Thursday afternoon after reporting what, police and school officials say, was a false threat.

Haverhill Police said it received a “report of a potentially armed student making threats,” but no weapons were found and one student was arrested. Typically, names of minors are not released. At about 12:45 p.m., school officials reported, the high school first learned of, what was described as, a “rumor” and “the high school immediately went into lockdown and Haverhill police responded appropriately.”

“After their initial investigation, they deemed there was no threat to any students or staff at high school. The lockdown has been lifted. We appreciate that there is a lot of sensitivity around school violence these days and especially this week,” said Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling, acknowledging tensions after the Uvalde, Texas, shooting Tuesday that caused the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.

Although there was no weapon, school Superintendent Margaret Marotta initially told School Committee members “…we need to take threats seriously and cannot tolerate even off the cuff remarks.”

In an official statement, the school department reported “This afternoon at Haverhill High School we had a brief shelter in place due to a threat of an armed student that we responded to.  We immediately notified the Haverhill Police and located the student, and no weapon was found.  The Haverhill Police Department has fully investigated and found that it was not a valid threat to the school.  We thank the Haverhill Police Department and the staff and students of Haverhill High School for their appropriate response.”

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