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Superintendent announces more security at Ponchatoula Jr. High

Superintendent announces more security at Ponchatoula Jr. High

Author: Action News 17/Saturday, March 30, 2019/Categories: Front Page, Headlines

From the Tangipahoa Parish School System

PONCHATOULA—Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley announced Saturday that there will be additional security on campus at Ponchatoula Jr. High next week to ensure that students have a safe environment in which to begin their annual state testing.

On Thursday afternoon, a social media post showed an altercation between a student and several faculty members on the PJHS campus. That incident is under investigation by school level and district officials, Stilley said, and both the school principal and senior level central office administration have made contact with the parent of the student and the employees involved in the incident.

“We are very sorry for this incident and we are taking this case very seriously,” Stilley said, adding that the district’s core values and expectations for both employees and students were not displayed in the video clip shown on social media.

“We are taking actions to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again in our school district,” Stilley said Saturday. She declined additional comment on the personnel matter, noting that the district has a policy and a process that will be followed. She asked the public to understand that due to privacy laws the district cannot release details related to any employee disciplinary action; however, general updates on the case will be provided as the investigation unfolds.

Following Thursday’s post on social media, school officials and law enforcement were called in on Friday to deal with an alleged threat at Ponchatoula Jr. High. As a result, PJHS and neighboring Tucker Elementary implemented their “lock-in” security measures which included having a visible law enforcement presence on campus. The individual making the threat has been identified and arrested.

“State testing for our students will begin on Monday at PJHS and at schools across our district. Due to the tension and concern for student safety, we have asked our local law enforcement officials to provide extra security on campus to ensure a safe environment for our students,” Stilley said.

The superintendent asks that employees and parents do their best to help students focus on testing for the next several weeks.

“Let’s all work together to ensure that our students have the support they need and a conducive environment in which to showcase all they have learned this school year,” Stilley said.


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