Student’s bomb threat joke sparks outrage among parents

18-year-old Ayman Sara is a native to Syria

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Agawam High School parents still want to know why they weren’t notified of a bomb threat immediately. 22News spoke with Agawam’s superintendent of schools.

According to court documents from Friday’s arraignment in Westfield District Court, last Wednesday, 18-year-old Ayman Sara said he dreamed of coming to the high school with a bomb in each hand and blowing up the school. Sara also said he wanted to shoot people with an AK-47.

Sara allegedly said he was just joking, and that in his native country of Syria, bombs are everywhere and joking about it isn’t a big deal. Agawam Superintendent William Sapelli told 22News the school system takes every threat seriously, but they didn’t feel a lockdown or evacuation was needed.

Sapelli said he couldn’t immediately tell parents much information without it interfering with the police investigation. Many parents are wondering if Sara will return to school. Sapelli sent a statement, explaining the school system can legally expel a student charged with a felony, and if he’s considered a threat to the school.

He said, in part, “After the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, administration makes a determination whether to institute expulsion hearings, which would provide for the permanent removal of a student.”

Below is Superintendent William Sapelli’s full statement:

Although I cannot comment specifically regard this particular student, I will provide the process that is following regarding any student that has been charged with a felony pursuant to M.G.L.c. 71, § 37H1/2. The Law allows school systems to exclude students who have been charged with a felony in the event the principle determines the students’ continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. A student has five (5) calendar days from the date of the principal’s determination to appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. After the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, administration makes a determination whether to institute expulsion hearings, which would provide for the permanent removal of a student.

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