Video post leads to SHS investigation

Police reassures public that at no point were students at risk

AMHERST – School officials say they know the identities of the Souhegan Cooperative High School students who were filmed in what they called a “troubling” video that featured a hand gun.

Amherst police received an anonymous tip about the video, and around 11 a.m. Monday morning, they notified the school, said Associate Superintendent Adam Steel.

The gun was not on school property, he said, and police were able to locate and secure it and determine the identities of the students, all juveniles.

“The events depicted in the video did not take place on school grounds and did not take place during school hours,” according to a posting on the SAU 39 website. “The police reassured us that at no point were the SHS students, staff or general public at risk.

“In an abundance of caution, the police were able to provide additional officers to be onsite throughout the course of the day.”

During an interview at the school Monday afternoon, Steel said “a couple” of students were involved but declined to say exaclty how many or what was depicted in the video, other than to say that none of their faces were visible. Because they are juveniles, he said he can’t talk about disciplinary action.

After any crisis, he said, “we do what we can to support students … we are very pro-active – K through 12 – in their time of need. … It is not good to see students making bad choices,” but school officials need to be cognizant of those who are in crisis.

Teachers were notified about the video through Twitter and at an all-teacher meeting in the afternoon.

In a posting on the SAU 39 website, Steel and Superintendent Peter Warburton said, “we are grateful to the Amherst Police Department for their swift and thorough response and will continue to work to ensure the safety of all of our

students.”

Security has been an on and off issue at Souhegan over the years. The school board held public forums on security last year and is expected to make decisions on interior cameras, the open campus and other safety concerns this spring.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@nashuatelegraph.com.