Administration email dispels weapon rumor


photo by Benjamin Buchalter ’25

In terms of system-wide emails regarding emergencies and rumors at Staples, the 2022-2023 school year has been one of the busiest. From multi-hour emergency lockdowns to a car crashing into the building, the school email list has been the primary way for parents to learn about incidents at Staples.

The Westport Public School system sent out an email to students and parents at Staples High School on May 22 correcting rumors alleging that a Staples student had posted an image of themselves brandishing a weapon.

While there was no imminent threat to our building,” Principal Stafford Thomas wrote, “we immediately alerted the police and they then conducted an investigation which confirmed that it was not, in fact, a weapon.”

A student, who the administration has elected not to disclose the name of, posted an image on social media carrying an object that was confused by several students for a weapon. Reports reached the office and were determined after investigation to be false, but rumors began to spread about the image, which has since been removed.

We wanted to make sure [the rumor] didn’t come home and didn’t spiral around.

— Principal Thomas

“It started to spread,”  Principal Thomas said in an interview. “Students had seen the image before it was deleted and said, ‘Hey, you should know about this.’So we sent out an email.”

When the rumors were first brought to the office’s attention, the school resource officer was made aware, and afterward, the police. The email was necessary in order to ensure that the myth did not follow students off-campus and then spread outside of the school’s control.

“We wanted to make sure [the rumor] didn’t come home and didn’t spiral around,” Principal Thomas said.