Boston Police are investigating an incident it has classified as aggravated assault where a female student reportedly provoked a fight with another female student and then deployed a Taser stun gun during the affray at the Henderson Upper School on May 19.
No one was seriously injured, but the police report noted that “school-based discipline will be administered to both students.”
The report noted that officers were called to the scene after the fight had ended and added the following:
The trouble began inside the Croftland Avenue school and then continued later with a second confrontation outside. According to witnesses, the instigator of the initial fight was asked to leave the school premises. Instead, the young woman stood outside the school and yelled up at the classrooms from the sidewalk, challenging the other student to come outside and fight. Although staff members tried to prevent the second student from getting outside, she “broke through.”
Outside, both students began fighting and school staff ran outside and intervened. In the scuffle, (the educator) separated the students. In that moment, he heard a Taser going off and saw it in the hand of (the first student),” the report stated. “He was able to knock the Taser out of her hand… (The second student) did not complain of any injuries. It’s believed that the Taser attempt only made contact with her clothing.”
The second student was taken inside to be examined by the school nurse and was found to be unharmed. The educator called for the instigator to return to the building and talk about what happened, but she instead “continued to walk towards Ashmont train station and dismissing (the educator’s) calls to converse about the incident.”
Police obtained the Taser gun the next day.
According to state law, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to carry a Taser, or stun gun, and anyone possessing a Taser must have a Firearms Identification Card. They are regulated along with firearms under the law.
“BPS’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” said department spokesperson Gabrielle Farrell. “The district’s work of building a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for our students to learn continues. Any time there is a physical altercation between students, and with weapons involved, it’s concerning. We’re fully cooperating with the Boston Police on their investigation.”
In a statement to the Reporter, Mayor Wu reacted to the incident report:
“As a BPS mom, it’s deeply personal for me that each and every one of our children will be safe and feel supported in our schools, on their commutes to school, and throughout our neighborhoods,” she said. “We are partnering with public safety and health agencies, the state, and community organizations on incident response time and community support systems. Together with our newly launched summer safety plan, the city is taking a wraparound approach to ensure every child has the nurturing environment they need and deserve.”
The incident is the latest at the Henderson Upper School, as well as at other BPS schools. At least eight loaded guns have been found and reported in BPS schools this year, and a string of assaults on students has been reported as well – some with weapons and others within fights.
One of the most high-profile incidents happened at the Henderson Upper School last fall when the long-time school principal, Patricia Lampron, was knocked unconscious on the sidewalk following an altercation with a 16-year-old student. Principal Lampron has not returned to work since that time.
Councillor Erin Murphy, a one-time teacher at the Henderson, said no one should be comfortable with a situation where a weapon is used at school.
“It’s very concerning that children are bringing weapons into school and concerning that there are children afraid to use the bathroom at school because there is a lot of misbehavior happening outside of the teachers’ sight and at times within the sight of teachers,” she said. “It’s concerning overall.”