Mohawk, Hawlemont schools re-opened after threat investigation

Classes were canceled Wednesday at the Mohawk and Hawlemont Regional School Districts.

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – The last day of school was pushed back for both students and teachers in western Franklin County.

Classes were cancelled Wednesday at the Mohawk and Hawlemont School Districts. A letter was sent to local law enforcement citing a potential attack at the Mohawk Trail Regional School.

The anonymous letter, which had been postmarked out of Boston, was received at the Shelburne Falls State Police Barracks. It indicated that a man and a woman in their 60’s who live in Heath, were planning an attack at Mohawk Trail Regional School before the end of the school year. The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office questioned the couple, and decided the allegations against them weren’t credible.


Mohawk & Hawlemont School Districts canceled Wednesday’s classes due to “unspecified” threat


Michael Buoniconti, Superintendent of the Mohawk and Hawlemont Regional School Districts, told 22News, “It specified a location and a time frame. It was a generic attack, not a specific attack, but there was enough information where we needed to share that information with the school community.”

Mohawk Trail Regional school back open on Thursday
Mohawk Trail Regional school back open on Thursday

Local police do not believe the Heath couple pose any threat, despite being cited in the letter. Buoniconti said parents were fearful after receiving his alert Tuesday night.

“We see what’s going on in Orlando recently,” said Elia Sinaiko of Buckland. “It’s a new world and it’s a very dangerous world.”

Local and state police searched 6 school buildings Wednesday and found no threat. Buoniconti requested an additional dog search at Mohawk Regional because it had been specifically mentioned. Police will be on campus until the end of the school year. Friday will be the last day of school for students.

Students at Colrain Central and Hawlemont will now graduate Thurdsday at 6:30 p.m. and students at Heath Elementary School will graduate Friday at 6:30 p.m.

The Superintendent sent out the following letter late Wednesday afternoon regarding the school being re-opened:

Dear Mohawk and Hawlemont School Community:

The State Police dogs just finished an inspection of Mohawk MS-HS without finding anything concerning.  Based on this result, as well as the inspections of all Mohawk and Hawlemont school buildings today by State and Local Police, I believe that our schools are safe for our students and staff members.  Consequently, school will re-open tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience during these challenging circumstances.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Buoniconti
Superintendent of Schools
Mohawk Trail Regional School District
Hawlemont Regional School District

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