Dear Poultney High School and Elementary School Staff and Families,
I want to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation for the past two days. As most of you know, at mid-day yesterday, June 7, 2023, Poultney High School administrators were made aware of some concerning conversations and rumors circulating in our community and on social media around a possible school safety incident at Poultney High School. Upon receiving this information, administrators immediately contacted the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, Vermont State Police, and the Vermont School Safety Center and began investigating this matter. Later that afternoon, I sent out a communication to all families stating that, based on the information we had available at that time, there was nothing to lead us to believe that there was a threat to our school community. We also asked that if anyone had any concerns or information, to please pass this information along to me, the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, the Vermont State Police, and the Vermont School Safety Tip-Line (www.SAFE4VT.org).
After this communication was sent out, we received numerous tips and information that required additional investigations by the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermont State Police. In addition, a determination was made at this point to close Poultney High School and Poultney Elementary School for today, June 8, out of an abundance of caution and to allow our law enforcement agencies more time to thoroughly investigate and evaluate each of the tips and pieces of information that had been received. This additional time would also allow the POHS school administration to develop a support plan for students and staff members as they return to school.
After a thorough investigation conducted by the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, the Vermont State Police, and the Vermont School Safety Center, these law enforcement agencies made the determination that the possible school safety incident be considered a non-credible threat. We understand that this is a complex situation, and many of you shared other issues and concerns centered on situations and issues separate from this possible school safety incident that need to be addressed. I will be working with the building administration to address each of these issues and to ensure that the situation is handled in a timely manner and appropriate disciplinary action (as per our handbook and GRCSU policy) is administered.
As a result, both Poultney High School and Poultney Elementary School will be open tomorrow. Building administrators will be sending out further information about supports that will be in place for both staff and students.
As with all school safety and security issues, we take these situations very seriously, and each incident is evaluated by local law enforcement to determine its level of credibility. We will continue to lean on the guidance and direction of the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, the Vermont State Police, and the Vermont School Safety Center to investigate this information further. We also look to our community to help inform our assessment and encourage anyone with any information about a safety or security concern at any of our schools to contact the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department or the Vermont State Police or leave a tip on Vermont’s anonymous school safety tipline. There are three ways to submit a tip:
Go to www.SAFE4VT.org and click submit a tip, then fill out the form with your information.
Dial 844-SAFE4VT (723-3488) and speak with a call-taker.
Send a text to 274637, type in keyword SAFE4VT and then your tip.