Thursday, February 22, 2018




Bullets found at Port Jervis High School

PORT JERVIS – One day before a teen gunman opened fire at a Lakeland, Florida school killing 17 people and wounding dozens of others, three bullets were found outside Port Jervis High School and turned in by a student. The following day, February 14, bullet casings were found in the boys’ locker room and turned in to school officials.

A letter to parents and community members from high school Principal Andrew Marotta, circulated Wednesday, said the rounds were found where students gather in the morning. The letter also said a teacher found “an alarming note” in a classroom.

“While we were concerned, there was no evidence of any direct threats or immediate danger,” Marotta wrote.

Deerpark Police and the central administration were notified and investigated, he said.

The principal said he is “troubled” by the events. “While there have been no direct threats, is someone trying to scare people? Is someone trying to create fear and a sense of uneasiness in the school? I am not sure of the answers to these questions and will continue to investigate them,” he said.

Marotta said the staff “has a wealth of experience and has been trained in multiple areas of school safety” and the school continues to foster “an environment of love, compassion, and kindness to give all students a sense of belonging and hope.”

The principal said they promote a culture of if you see something, say something; the high school building is “up to date and above standards” in safety, locked doors, camera upgrades and other measures; and they run several safety and preparedness drills throughout the year, including one the day before the bullets and note were found.

“We search students when appropriate and investigate social media posts. We continue to run on-going positive behavior and anti-bullying programs for students,” Marotta wrote.


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