WALL TOWNSHIP — Following Facebook posts from parents that assert their special needs children are being targeted by false allegations of acting out future incidents of school violence, Wall Township superintendent Tracy Handerhan sent a letter to school community members.
Superintendent Tracy Handerhan’s letter to parents on June 20 read as follows:
“This weekend I was made aware of a social media post alleging that autistic students are being bullied through erroneous reports of threatening school-based violence. The post went on to quantify a number of occurrences in a two-week span. We have no information to support this claim. That said, if anyone does have any information regarding deliberate false reporting of school violence, I ask that you reach out to your child’s respective principal. If deliberate false reporting is confirmed, this will be addressed through legal and disciplinary action.
In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, I previously communicated that, ‘…each and every day, the well-being of our students and staff remains our utmost concern and top priority.’ District administration and staff are charged with responding to threats against schools and/or students; expressions of self-harm; domestic abuse; harassment, intimidation, and bullying; and other actions that could potentially endanger students and/or staff. Please know that when WTPS administration receives information regarding a threat against students and/or staff, the WTPS administration has no discretion in terms of a response. Rather, there are well-established protocols – often in conjunction with law enforcement and appropriate state and mental health agencies – that MUST be followed and adhered to.”
One of the greatest defenses against school-based violence is the members of the school community themselves. Each year, schools stress the importance of “If you see something or hear something, say something” to students and staff. It is imperative that individuals feel comfortable and safe reporting any threats of violence, including self-harm. WTPS administration WILL take the reporting of threats very seriously; again, there is no discretion. One cannot determine if a threat is false if it is not investigated fully. I cannot emphasize enough that if anyone has any information regarding deliberate false reporting of school violence, please reach out to your child’s respective principal to share this information.”
WTPS, the Wall Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office were unable to confirm the validity of the online posts due to the involvement of juveniles.
The Coast Star also reached out to a parent who posted on the Wall Residents Facebook group, but they declined the request to comment to the press.
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