School officials send parents emails about stun gun, threat

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Portsmouth school officials sent parents two separate emails Thursday regarding the confiscation of a stun gun at Portsmouth High School and an alleged threat made by a Portsmouth Middle School student. Both incidents were reported to police. 

Juvenile charged with possessing stun gun

The following first email was sent to parents of Portsmouth High School students on Thursday. 

To: Portsmouth Families

It was reported to administration today that a student might have brought a taser (electric shock device) to school. Within a few minutes of the report, the administration confiscated the device and notified Portsmouth Police.

The investigation resulted in no evidence of intended harm to anyone in the school. Although, no one was threatened or harmed the administration will continue to encourage students and staff to be vigilant.

We appreciate the information being brought to the attention of the administration so quickly. It is in working together that we can continue to keep our school safe.

This e-mail has been sent to you by PORTSMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL. 

On Friday, Portsmouth police released the following statement about the incident.

A Portsmouth juvenile was taken into custody and charged with possession of weapons other than firearms prohibited. 

On March 8, at approximately 10:02 a.m., information was received that a 16-year-old female was seen in possession of a stun-gun inside the Portsmouth High School. Upon investigation, a stun gun was found in the juvenile’s possession. Based on the circumstances, School Resource Officer Maddie Pirri took the juvenile into custody. The juvenile was charged with weapons other than firearms prohibited (11-47- 42 RIGL).

While school officials first reported the confiscated weapon as a “Taser,” police clarified the item was a stun gun. 

A Taser or TASER is typically a weapon firing barbs attached by wires to batteries, causing temporary paralysis, or a specific brand of a Taser. 

A stun gun is a device used to immobilize an attacker without causing serious injury, typically by administering an electric shock.


Middle school informs parents about threat

The second message was sent to parents of students attending Portsmouth Middle School. This email message was also sent on Thursday. 

According to police, the investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Neither email from the school district was distributed to local media, including Portsmouth Press, or members of the general community. 

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