Franklin High School Investigation Results In Increased Police Presence On Campus

Second related incident in one day

Authorities are investigating information received by township police Feb. 23 which prompted an increased police presence at Franklin High School.

The matter is the subject of an “ongoing juvenile investigation” by the FTPD and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office detectives, SCPO spokesman Jack Bennett said in an email. “No additional information to be released at this time.”

At about 1:50 p.m. Feb. 23, the district sent out a message to FHS families, informing them that their children would likely see an “increased police presence on the campus.”

“A short time ago, the Franklin Township Police Department received information that resulted in their coming to Franklin High School to conduct an investigation,” the notice read. “This investigation resulted in increased police presence on the campus.”

“At no time were our students in any danger,” according to the notice. “We did however wish to inform you of this right away as there was an increased police presence at the building that your child may have been aware of.”

There was no indication given about what the information was that triggered the investigation.

The high school incident was the second time in the day that something triggered a response by district and police officials.

Earlier in the day, district officials informed parents through a message that “a disturbing image and language” had been posted to a social media account of a Franklin Middle School student, but an investigation showed that the student “did not pose a credible threat to our students or schools.”

“No one was in any danger at any time,” according to the message.

The student’s actions will be handled by the district through its Student Code of Conduct, according to the message.

FTPD spokesman Lt. Phil Rizzo said in an email that “(a)fter looking into the issue it was quickly determined that this was not a police matter and referred back to the school.”

The Student Code of Conduct “sets expectations of behavior in school, at school events and outside of school hours and facilities when that behavior creates a substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school,” district spokeswoman Mary Clark said in an email. “Discipline under the Code of Conduct usually spans several levels and in all cases, the investigation involves counseling the student. The level of discipline is dependent upon the circumstances of the individual case, the type, scope, severity and number of infractions.”

“When an incident occurs outside of the school day that involves one of more of our students and has the potential to cause a substantial disruption to the orderly operation of the school an investigation is triggered and the student’s actions are addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct,” Clark wrote. “In some cases an investigation will determine that counseling is the only action necessary.”


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