Barrington High School mulls shift to virtual learning amid threat investigation

East Bay

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Barrington High School may shift to distance learning for the last three days of the semester as police continue to investigate a threat found in the girls’ bathroom earlier this week.

In a letter to students and parents, Principal Joseph Hurley said they are still considering whether the shift is necessary.

Hurley said the district will make a decision no later than 3 p.m. Sunday.

“We care deeply about the well-being of our students and are here to help,” Hurley wrote.

Officers have been patrolling the high school throughout the week and plan to do so until winter break while the threat is being investigated.

Students at the high school have already called on administrators to shift to remote learning until the investigation is complete.

If the high school does shift to remote learning, students wouldn’t return to the classroom until the new year.

The announcement comes on a day where school districts across the country were already on high alert as a number of posts calling for acts of violence made their rounds on social media.

An anonymous post on TikTok, which has since spawned hundreds of copycat posts, labeled Dec. 17 as “National Shoot Up Your School Day” and warned students to stay home. The social media platform said it’s working with law enforcement to investigate the source of the post.

School districts across Southern New England were among the many nationwide that stepped up their security measures Friday as a precaution, including Westport, Fall River, North Kingstown and Lincoln.

In Woonsocket, two students were arrested after police investigated multiple threats at three different schools.

Anyone who believes they know who wrote the threatening message is urged to contact the school department by calling (401) 245-5000 or the police department at (401) 437-3935.

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