Gun posting on web sparks investigation at high school

The following letter from Wilton High School Principal Robert O’Donnell was sent out today, Oct. 5.

Dear Wilton High School Community:

I am writing to inform you of circumstances that developed this morning at Wilton High School. At 11:30 a.m., I was advised of a student report regarding a photograph posted on the popular “Snapchat” forum. The image depicted a gun along with the phrase “get ready for some fun.” Our incident response team began an immediate investigation, working closely with the Wilton Police Department, our district technology department, and our Safe School Climate Coordinator.

We quickly determined that the gun in the posting was a stock photo harvested from Google Images. The posting contained no direct threats, and as of now, we are only aware of one student who actually saw the post. The identity of the poster is not yet known, but the Wilton Police Department is currently working directly with Snapchat to obtain any discoverable facts about the creator of the post. Based on the facts at our disposal, and in consultation with the police, we determined that while closely monitoring the situation, instruction and school business could continue without interruption.

Our administrative team and Resource Officer Ross maintained visibility in the building to ensure that students with any relevant information would have heightened access to adults should they wish to make additional reports. We also worked to ensure the comfort of the one student who saw the post. The Wilton Police were prepared to respond in any way necessary. As always, the building’s outer perimeter remained secure and my team was vigilant in its observation of building operations. At this time, we have no reason to believe we faced a credible threat, but we will continue to take any information about potential threats seriously. We will continue our investigation to ensure the peace of mind and stability we demand for all our students and the entire community.

Our school is a safe place, but our focused efforts will help to keep it safe going forward. We have a proactive mindset regarding student security, social and emotional wellness, and building climate. Our response to this incident began well before today and will continue long after, rooted in work designed to know our students well and create a climate that is physically, socially, and emotionally safe.

At this time, I enlist the support of anyone in the school and community who may have further information regarding this incident to contact me.     

Sincerely,

Robert William O’Donnell, Ed.D.

Principal

The Bulletin reached out to the Wilton Police Department but no one was available to offer further information.

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