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Grenade Scare Empties Coleytown Elementary

When the fire alarm sounded at Coleytown Elementary School late Monday afternoon, it wasn’t a drill. Principal Janna Bell pulled the alarm after learning a student had brought a grenade to school. It wasn’t armed with explosives, but Bell didn’t know that.

At around 3:50 p.m. on Monday, as students waited outside for the buses, a teacher overheard a student say he had brought a grenade to school, Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola said. The student was taken to Bell’s office and asked to show her the grenade.

When she saw the device, Bell pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the school and called 911, Arciola said. Emergency personnel examined the grenade and determined that it was harmless.

“It turns out that a relative of student had given him the inept device, which is more or less a paper weight, and for reasons unknown, he brought it school,” Arciola said.

Although it was just a shell and no one was hurt, Superintendent Elliot Landon said it’s a violation of school policy.

“Obviously, we will make sure all our schools repeat the message that it’s unsatisfactory for students to bring any type of toy weapon or anything that resembles a weapon to school,” Landon said. “And if they do so, there will be consequences for their actions.”

The usual consequence is suspension, Landon said.

Landon said Bell took the appropriate steps, reacting as if there were a real threat.

“I think Janna operated in an exemplary fashion,” Landon said. “She evacuated the building when she learned the child had this instrument and immediately called 911. I thought it was handled very well.”

Are you a Coleytown Elementary School parent? Do you think the situation was handled well? Do you think more needs to be done to educate students about the danger of weapons? Leave a comment below.

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