Student knife incident causes lockdown at Granby High School

  • Granby Junior/Senior High School. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, November 27, 2017

GRANBY — A student who threatened the school resource officer and other staff with a knife and metal club at Granby Junior-Senior High School was arrested Monday morning after causing a brief lockdown, police reported.

At around 11 a.m., staff learned that the boy, 15, had come to school with a knife, and the school resource officer was summoned to deal with the situation in the guidance office, according to a release supplied by Police Chief Alan Wishart and Superintendent Sheryl Stanton.

During his interaction with the resource officer, the boy allegedly became enraged and combative, physically attacking the school resource officer, pulling a knife and club from his backpack and making several threats. Police said the student is “significantly larger” than the resource officer.

Police said the resource officer held the student at gunpoint, ordered him to drop the knife, and called other officers for backup.

School officials then issued a shelter-in-place order, placing the school in lockdown, which Wishart said lasted for only a matter of minutes.

The student refused to drop the knife until other officers arrived and a Taser was taken from its holster. When the student was advised the Taser would be used to disarm him, he let go of the knife.

No one was injured during the incident.

Wishart said the boy, who is not a Granby resident, was arrested on about a half-dozen charges, booked at the police station and then arraigned at Hadley Juvenile Court.

While other staff were in the guidance area at the time, no other students were present, Wishart said.

“It was in an isolated area, which was one of the best things we had working for us,” Wishart said.

Wishart said the department had done lockdown drills with students and staff at the high school recently.

Stanton said staff train in how to de-escalate a situation. “Staff involved did use those techniques and mitigated what could have been a much worse outcome,” Stanton said.

Following the incident, a debriefing was done with school staff. The school intends to hold grade-level meetings with students to let them know they are always welcome to bring forward concerns, reminding them that student safety is paramount.

“We want them at all times to feel safe,” Stanton said.

Principal Steve Sullivan informed parents through a phone message about the incident and told them everyone at the school was safe.

Stanton said the incident shows the effectiveness of the long-standing collaboration between the schools and the police department through its resource officer.

The matter remains under investigation by school administrators and police. Wishart said weapons are prohibited from school grounds, but students don’t have to go through metal detectors to enter the building.

“We will reach out to anyone who has information about it or who has been affected by it,” Wishart said.