JFK school to host parents Wednesday who want to process recent lockdown

  • Brian Turrell, left, is reunited with his sixth-grade son Jonathan Turrell, 12, after dismissal from JFK Middle School was delayed last Thursday due to a lockdown following report of a suspicious person on school grounds. Parents are invited to a gathering at the school Wednesday night at 6 to process the incident. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — Less than a week after an incident at JFK Middle School that forced the school and others in the district into a lockdown, parents and families will have a chance to come together to process the day.

Superintendent John Provost said the school will host JFK parents Wednesday at 6 p.m., where they will have a chance to meet and process the incident together.

More than a dozen local and state police cruisers responded to JFK on Bridge Road last Thursday after receiving a report at 2:10 p.m. of a male with a gun in the rear parking lot. No injuries were reported.

Matthew E. Borsuk, 27, was arraigned Friday in Northampton District Court on charges of disturbing a school assembly and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds.

Standing next to his attorney Michael L. Foy, of Springfield, Borsuk said nothing as Judge W. Michael Goggins ordered bail set at $500 with conditions that he stay away from all public schools in Northampton and not possess any firearms, including pellet guns and airsoft guns. Goggins also ordered that Borsuk remain drug free.

Borsuk allegedly told police he was there to pick up a friend who worked at the school and the two had planned to go target shooting after.

On Tuesday, Provost said the school had additional counselors available for students and staff the day after the incident but did not have numbers on how many people used the service.

Students also had an extended morning homeroom that day and teachers were given talking points to help students process the situation, Provost said. Staff also met before and after school.

Provost said he could not speak for the school community on how they were managing less than a week after the incident.

“I think that what I’m left with as I process my feelings after the event is a feeling of gratitude for the way all the students and staff executed the techniques that they practiced throughout the year. We all just had to trust each other and rely upon each other to do our jobs and we did them,” Provost said. “I came away from it with a real feeling of unity and feeling that the Northampton Public Schools team is very strong.”

Since the incident, Provost said several parents have reached out to express their thanks to the school and police for keeping their students safe.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.