False threat prompts fast response at NPHS

False threat prompts fast response at NPHS

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Alarm bells were sounded across the North Providence community last week after a racist threat was made to “NPHS” on social media, but school and town officials quickly learned that the threat was intended for a high school in North Port, Florida.

Out of an abundance of caution, officials ramped up security at North Providence High School. After the School Department received a call about the threat at 6:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, the North Providence Police Department heightened their presence at NPHS and escorted students and staff through a single entrance.

The threat originated on Snapchat where a post depicted a young man wielding a handgun and threatening violence toward black students. According to media reports in North Port, a 15-year-old student was arrested in connection to the threats.

North Providence High School Principal Joseph Goho, who stepped into his new role as superintendent this week, said once the administration became aware of the situation, school officials “worked closely with the North Providence Police Department, who did a tremendous job.”

While the threat was ultimately directed at a school more than 1,000 miles away, Goho told The Breeze that North Providence is working with the District Safety Team to “review the events of the day and to determine what may be done differently and better when potential threats occur in the future.”

Mayor Charles Lombardi, in a post last Wednesday, wrote, “Yesterday morning we had an incident, and we are very happy with the response from our Police Department and School Department. Everyone followed the policy that is in place. If an incident like this were to materialize, we know we will have a quick response to protect our children.”

Local parents told The Breeze they were very happy with the response, particularly a voice message from interim Supt. Robert O’Brien explaining the entire situation very succinctly.