One day after Chief Sealth International High School told families a student had been arrested in connection with the discovery of bullets and a stolen gun at school, we asked more followup questions, and here’s what we’ve received in response, via Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard:
*The district can’t comment as to why the notification went out at the end of the day, and says there is no policy about how soon such notifications should be made.
*They can’t comment on what discipline the student might face separate from potential prosecution, as that is “private” information.
*We asked how many guns were found on SPS campuses so far this year; reply – this was the only one so far.
Meantime, principal Jeff Clark from neighboring Denny International Middle School sent us this letter he sent to families today; it includes a followup letter that Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer sent to families at her school (we received a copy of her followup letter from the district earlier today).
Dear Denny Families,
Yesterday, there was an incident at Chief Sealth. The principal of Chief Sealth, Ms. Fraser-Hammer, wrote the letter below which is being sent home and shared with the calling machine. We want you to be aware as well. Safety continues to our top priority—we are prioritizing this with our collaboration with Chief Sealth.
Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School
(Sealth followup letter)
December 17, 2015
Dear Chief Sealth families, I want to follow up on the incident at our school yesterday. I understand you might have some questions or concerns, so I would like to give you some clarity on the situation.
Prior to the start of school yesterday morning, a gun magazine was discovered in a classroom. I notified SPS security and began an investigation to determine its origin and whether a student was involved. SPS security and administration interviewed several students, and identified a potential student of concern. The student was immediately escorted to the office where SPD and school security secured the incident. The student took responsibility for bringing a weapon and said he did not intend to harm anyone. Seattle Police arrested the student.
Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top concern. I am proud of how our staff responded to this incident.
We will continue to coordinate with SPD and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Chief Sealth International High School