Plymouth teacher on leave after making gun remarks to students

Plymouth teacher on leave after making gun remarks to students

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — A Plymouth teacher is on administrative leave after allegedly making a remark about a gun to his students at Plymouth North High School on Friday.

In light of recent school shootings and threats, students and faculty were alarmed when the school went into a shelter in place but no information was released.

"I was in the cafeteria and we had an announcement that there was a stay in place for a student who had a medical emergency, we didn't think anything of it because there was a blood drive going on at the time," said Alexis MacDonald, a senior at Plymouth North High School.

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Eighteen-year-old Alexis MacDonald wasn't worried until she heard the whispers and rumors going around about a teacher and a gun, prompting her to text her mom immediately.

"The student said, 'I'll just find the answers to the test online somewhere,' and he (the teacher) responded with, 'no, because they are in my safe at my house near my gun,'" said MacDonald.

Plymouth Police were then called to the school to investigate the incident, according to Superintendent Gary Maestas.

A statement posted to the district's Facebook page said, in part:

“Our investigation assisted by police has indicated that this situation involved a statement only and not the possession of anything illegal.”

In a note to parents, Maestas said the "inappropriate remarks" were made about a gun the teacher owns.

He added that police are not actively investigating the incident.

Boston 25 News inquired as to what was said that was a cause for concern and if there was any history concerning this teacher in particular, but the superintendent declined to comment, saying its a personnel matter.

Plymouth Police also declined to comment on the incident. However, records show officers responded to the high school on Friday on reports of suspicious activity, but no arrests were listed.

The teacher has since been placed on administrative leave, and, according to the superintendent, his employment status is being reviewed as the district continues it's investigation.

The entire statement from the district can be found below:

Yesterday, at Plymouth North High School, students reported to the administration a concerning comment that was made by a staff member.  The school took immediate action to assess the level of threat and implemented safety precautions such as a shelter-in-place protocol and involvement of the Plymouth Police.  The investigation has indicated that the comment, while alarming, was not indicative of a present danger to the school.  Through social media, a great deal of misinformation has been circulated.  We want to make students and parents aware that our investigation, assisted by Police, has indicated that this situation involved a statement only, and not the possession of anything illegal.   
We are proud of the students who came forward, and we want to express our appreciation to them and to the members of our school community who provided information that helped us get to the bottom of this situation quickly and safely.  We will continue to prioritize school safety at all times in this difficult climate and react swiftly and strongly to any type of allegation that is brought to our attention.