SOMERVILLE, NJ - Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy Teehan has released the following update and timeline concerning the phone calls and Instagram messages received by some Somerville High School students over the weekend and on Monday:
The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and Somerville Police Department are conducting an investigation into the incidents
Dear Staff, Students, Parents and Guardians,
Somerville Public School District is committed to the safety of our staff and students. We understand that the public wants specifics. Due to confidentiality laws, we are unable to do so. However, we can give you the following timeline of events and assure you that the Somerville Police Department investigated all concerns with the assistance of Somerville High School and District administration to ensure that schools were safe to open and operate all day today. There were four (4) separate events that occurred over the weekend. Unfortunately, misinformation has resulted in the combination of multiple events into one event, which is not accurate. Each of the events were independent of the others.
Somerville High School has been deemed safe. We will be open for school and all regularly scheduled activities tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
Approximately 7:30 p.m.
SHS and District administrators were notified of a post and immediately contacted the Somerville Police Department. SPD determined that the post did not pose an immediate or potential threat to student or staff safety. Somerville High School administrators and district administrators then followed district policy and procedure, based on the nature of the post, and acted accordingly.
Note: There is no relation to events 2, 3, or 4 (outlined in this email).
Approximately 7:30 a.m.
SHS and District administrators were notified of two (2) Instagram accounts that contained disturbing posts. The Somerville Police Department was immediately contacted to investigate. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, SHS and District administrators assisted SPD in the investigation. SPD conducted interviews of those individuals connected to the event. By Sunday evening, it was determined that the district policies and procedures would follow based on the nature of the posts and SHS was safe to complete a regularly scheduled school day. Although there was no immediate or potential threat, the district requested police presence at SHS for arrival to help make staff and students feel safe.
Note: There is no relation to events 1, 3, or 4 (outlined in this email).
Approximately 11 a.m.
Platform: Phone Calls
SHS administrators received a report that multiple students had received a similarly threatening phone call on Saturday night and had reported it to Branchburg Police Department. SPD joined the Somerville High School administration, District administration, and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate. There is no immediate or potential threat to student or staff safety.
Note: There is no relation to events 1, 2, and 4 (outlined in this email).
Approximately 11:30 a.m.
An individual reported a post referring to “Somerville School.” It was immediately investigated by SPD and determined to be non-credible. There is no immediate or potential threat to student or staff safety.
Note: This was deemed an unfounded reaction to events 1, 2, and 3 (outlined in this email).
Dr. Timothy M. Teehan
Superintendent of Somerville Public Schools