City Agencies to Host School Safety Meeting

Following the recent gun incident at East Boston High School (EBHS) the Mayor’s Office, in conjunction with Boston Public Schools, Boston Police, Boston School Police and Eastie’s elected officials, is hosting a meeting Thursday, April 26, at EBHS at 6:30 p.m.

According to the Mayor’s office, the meeting will focus on safety measures being taken at the school to address the most recent incident at EBHS, as well as other incidents that have occurred since September.

The latest incident occurred on Thursday, April 12, when a 20-year-old student was arrested near the school on Brooks Street.

Following the student’s arrest police recovered a gun and Keon Harris, 20, of Boston was arraigned at East Boston District Court on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. While there were some conflicting reports over whether or not Harris ever made it into the school with the gun, a police report of the incident very clearly states that Harris was suspected of having a gun in his possession by police, and when he was approached he fled the school and allegedly ditched the gun off school property in an alley near the school.

“The safety of students and staff is always the top priority of the Boston Public Schools (BPS),” said BPS in a statement following the incident. BPS also said it would increase the use of metal detection technology immediately, and utilize staff and School Police to provide a visible presence in and around the school.

However, EBHS parents have been complaining since the first incident back in September when a juvenile student was arrested for bringing a loaded 357 Magnum handgun into the school that school officials are downplaying potentially deadly incidents at EBHS.

Police reports obtained by the East Boston Times have found that there have been over a dozen occasions when weapons ranging from guns to knives to tasers have been confiscated on school grounds. Another incident this year involved a student posting pictures to social media of himself holding a 9 mm handgun inside one of the school’s bathrooms. However, while the student admitted to taking the selfie no handgun was ever recovered.

In March police arrested 19-year-old Kevin Vasquez Funes and charged him under the ‘bomb threat’ statute. Funes allegedly told fellow students he planned to shoot up the school. At his arraignment Funes said he was just fooling around but the judge ordered Funes held on $5,000 bail at his arraignment. The Salvadoran national was later detained by ICE agents at his home after it was found he entered the U.S. illegally in 2015.

The nation has been on edge following the February mass shooting at a Florida school that killed 17 students. School districts across the country have been taking every threat very seriously.

Now, EBHS parents are calling for the use of metal detectors to be standard protocol at the school.

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