2 Manchester schools close due to shooting threat

Threats close 2 schools in Manchester
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:21 AM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2023 at 12:35 PM EDT
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MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) - Two schools in Manchester closed on Friday because of a shooting threat, according to the district.

Manchester High School and Bentley Academy were closed.

“The high school principal opened an email early [Friday] morning that contained a threat of a shooting specific to Manchester High School,” said Matt Geary, superintendent. “The email identified today as the day the shooting would take place.”

District officials consulted with the Manchester Police Department. A decision was made to close the schools based on the nature of the threat.

“My top priority [Friday] morning was preventing students and staff from coming to the building and clearing staff already in the building out of MHS and Bentley,” Geary said in a letter to the school community.

The superintendent said police began an immediate investigation into the source of the threat. The investigation was ongoing. A suspect has yet to be identified.

There were several after-school activities planned at the high school for Friday.

Geary said he would provide an update on them later in the day.

“MHS and Bentley will reopen on Monday,” he said. “As a precaution, all student bags will be searched on the way into the building and there will be extra police presence in the building.”

He said safety remains the priority while also trying to plan for the reality that threats like the one that came in on Friday can come in at any time.

“In every case we consult with the police department and make decisions based on our ability or inability to mitigate the threat and open schools safely,” Geary said. “I understand this causes panic - we do our best to get accurate information out to people in a timely manner without providing details which could compromise the investigation of the police department.”

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Manchester High School and Bentley Academy close due to a shooting threat.