UPDATE: Letters sent to families after Denny IMS incident today

(UPDATED 4:36 PM with new version of letter, via Denny’s principal)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:23 PM: Thanks to the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School parents who shared a note that has been e-mailed to families about an incident that brought police to Denny this morning – hours before tonight’s student-safety meeting at Sealth:

Today, it was reported to administration that a Denny parent had made concerning comments to a scholar who was not his own child at school.

As a precaution, the Seattle Police Department was contacted. The Police came to school, interviewed those involved and documented the incident. The Seattle Police Department released the parent and we have had a normal school day.

As always, safety is our top priority. We will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis. Thank you for all of your ongoing support.

The letter is signed by Denny principal Jeff Clark and Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer. We checked with the district to find out more; spokesperson Stacy Howard explains that the reported comments were construed as potentially hostile, and came at morning dropoff time, after the parent’s child apparently pointed out and said something about a previous interaction with the other child.

P.S. Tonight’s 7 pm meeting in the school library, as mentioned again here last night, is meant to address issues of student safety off-campus as well as at school, and members of the community are welcome as well as students and families from Sealth and Denny.

ADDED 4:36 PM: Denny principal Clark says this letter is now being sent – it includes additional details:

Today at school we have had some conflict between two 7th grade scholars.  As a part of this it was reported to administration that a Denny parent had made concerning comments to a scholar who was not his own child at school.  As a pre-caution, the Seattle Police Department was contacted.  The Police came to school, interviewed those involved and documented the incident.  The Seattle Police Department released the parent.  Despite a pro-active intervention to help solve the conflict, the two scholars got into a physical altercation.  One of them received medical attention.  Multiple steps will be in place to help these two scholars to resolve this conflict and develop the skills to solve problems peacefully.

As always, safety is our top priority. We will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis. Thank you for all of your ongoing support.

12 Replies to "UPDATE: Letters sent to families after Denny IMS incident today"

  • WestSeattleParent March 9, 2016 (2:53 pm)

    Likely Scenario:

    Scholar: “Dad, that’s the kid I told you about that has been bullying me at school”

    Dad: “Hey kid, leave my child alone or you will have me to deal with”

    Police called. Kid will still bully.

    Seems to be a lot of violence around those schools. I knew a teacher of 20 years who taught there and I couldn’t believe what he would see on a daily basis.

  • Bonnie March 9, 2016 (4:04 pm)

    Westseattleparent, while I agree with your first comment about the Dad probably sticking up for his kid (because it was my first thought) I have to say I’m getting tired of the elitist attitude where everybody has to throw in a jab at Denny and Sealth.  My kids go to Denny/Sealth and we like it very much.  I have a friend who is a teacher at Sealth and she loves her job and loves the kids she has in her classes.  (and no, she is not an all Honors teacher)  Those who keep building up one side of West Seattle and putting the other side of West Seattle down is not doing anybody any favors.   

  • Admiral mom March 9, 2016 (4:59 pm)

    Unfortunate event but that can happen anywhere. I live in North Admiral and my kids go to Denny by choice, so I move in both worlds.  Good or bad, things happen everywhere and I too, am tired of people taking the opportunity to say something negative against Denny and Sealth. A more productive attitude is how we can, as a community support all our students regardless of where in the city they live. Enough is enough.

  • Wsmom March 9, 2016 (5:00 pm)

    westseattleparent, hopefully it was something like that and not anything sexually inappropriate or violent.

    Regarding those schools’ violence, I personally got beat up and attacked many times 15 years ago there….. I absolutely will not send my kids there. It ruined school for me. There is and has been lots of gang violence there. 

  • Wb March 9, 2016 (7:17 pm)

    There is also the possibility that the parent is a hero. 

  • H March 9, 2016 (8:36 pm)

    Reading everyone’s comments all of you have a point. Yes I agree both schools have great teachers and staff, I won’t denie it. My son is tutored by one of those teachers and she’s amazing. My fear is the students that attend. I see way to much stuff going on by school, surrounding neighborhoods, and West wood. I now travel to Burien for groceries, and tukwila for target. I don’t feel safe, due to the actively I see from the place. It’s becoming a weekly issue here. I’m sorry but something needs to be done. a girl having a gun, people ran over because a dog, multiple issues to address around here, won’t detail. I’m afraid to let my child go here, not due to staff but of the out of control children.  My opinion only, please respect. 

    • WSB March 9, 2016 (9:14 pm)

      H, I hope you were at the meeting tonight, if you have all those concerns. I’m just back, long and detailed so I won’t be able to finish writing until tomorrow, but there were dozens of people there who care passionately, and lots of information (a big theme – they want more information, and more directly/immediately from the district, which I hope will oblige). – TR

  • Chris March 9, 2016 (10:04 pm)

    So did the parent express concern, defend his child, only to be reported to the police, after which his son was beaten in the cafeteria and sent to the nurse for care?  Because that is what I am reading from this vague message from the school.  If so, the parent and the child need an apology from the principal, who failed to maintain a safe environment and if fact made it worse.  

    If not, I wish the school or someone would tell us what really happened.

  • TheKing March 10, 2016 (3:57 am)

    I have to agree with Chris. When I get emails like the most recent one sent to to parents, I read it and it goes something like…..Dear parents, something happened at the school today, the police were called. The end. 

  • WSMom1 March 10, 2016 (7:02 am)

    Yes, I agree.  I wish we knew what really happened.  I’m kind of hoping that the parent would get on here and explain his side of the story. 

    H, it sounds like you live in a lot of fear.  Burien is no safer than Westwood.  I know.  I grew up there. 

  • wshomegrown March 10, 2016 (1:05 pm)

    I am not sure I would call them elitist attitudes, rather
    just personal experiences. Good, bad or indifferent, we base our choices
    accordingly. I have seen the ebb and flow of which schools are better
    Denny/Sealth or Madison/WS, even putting kids on the ferry and sending them to
    Vashon. Bottom line we do what we think is best for our own. When my oldest was
    getting ready to start middle school the trend was Denny/Sealth (our
    neighborhood schools). My experience has been a steady, rapid decline
    (especially with Denny since).  Now my oldest is a Junior at Sealth, I am
    not much more impressed. Our middle child opted for a different high school and
    is much happier. Our youngest will be in middle school next year and we have
    opted for other choices as Denny is not even a consideration.  These are not
    jabs or being negative, these are our experiences. How can we try to support
    our students?? We tried for over 6 years with the school administration, the
    school board representatives, and with SPS. The parents as a community
    supported the students and teachers it is unfortunate the other half did not. 

  • H March 10, 2016 (11:32 pm)

    Wshomegrown: Thank you and can agree. 

    WSmom1: I don’t live in fear I’m just informed. My job is to protect my child, and be aware. I’ve done my research how many lock downs at Stealth compaire to WS high? Think about it, not fear protecting my child. I do appreciate your feedback. 

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