Following up on the Westport Police Department’s information about this morning’s “sheter in place” order at Staples High and Bedford Middle Schools, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice says:
Earlier this morning a student who missed their bus walked to the Dattco bus yard and requested a ride to Bedford Middle School. Personnel at the bus yard mobilized to provide transportation for this student.
Some time thereafter, personnel at the Dattco bus yard contacted the school district’s transportation coordinator to inform the coordinator about their plan to transport the student, but unfortunately provided incomplete and inaccurate information regarding the student’s identity and school. Our transportation coordinator immediately contacted the BMS and central office administration.
The administration then swiftly contacted our Westport Police Department School Security Officer (SSO) and School Resource Officer (SRO), and the Staples administration. After investigating to determine the identity and location of the student through video surveillance, our SRO discovered that the student was dropped off at Bedford Middle School, but then left the bus and walked towards Staples High School.
As a precaution, our SSO and SRO then sought additional resources from the Westport Police Department. Both schools were placed in a shelter-in-place.
Through collaboration with the school and district administration, the student was then correctly identified, interviewed, and it was determined that the shelter-in-place could be lifted.
The administration is committed to identifying the breakdown of the Dattco bus yard communication and protocols in this incident.
Again, I have complete confidence that at no time were our students and staff in danger. Additionally, it is clear that the positive and collaborative relationship we enjoy with the Westport Police Department, and the swift actions of our Bedford and Staples administration, along with our transportation coordinator and central office administration, all contributed to the timely resolution of this matter.