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Frontier back to normal after bullet found

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It was a regular day at school Thursday, after a .22-caliber rifle round found in the halls during a Wednesday night rehearsal caused an evacuation of Frontier Regional School.

“Nothing else has been found since then, and it’s been as normal a day of school as we could make it,” said Regina Nash, superintendent of the Frontier Regional School District.

Police Chief John Paciorek Jr. said the single cartridge was discovered by a custodian at about 6:45 p.m., in the hallway near a rear entrance by the boys’ locker rooms.

Nash said between 80 and 100 people, mostly Deerfield Elementary School kids and their parents, were there for a dress rehearsal for the annual DES talent show. Nash said the students use Frontier’s large auditorium to accommodate the popular event.

The custodian alerted staff, the school was evacuated, and police responded. No weapon, additional ammunition, or anything else to indicate a threat was discovered, said Paciorek.

“Everything was done by the book,” said Nash. “I’m very happy with the response, and Deerfield’s new police chief, John Paciorek Jr.”

Nash said the Frontier and its feeder schools formed the Four-Town Student and School Safety
Committee, which regularly meets with local and state police, as well as local fire departments.

“This is the kind of thing we take very seriously,” Nash said of Wednesday’s incident. Though there was no immediate risk to safety, Nash said it was a chance to practice the safety procedures that have been put in place.

“Our planning has been very valuable, and it’s paid off,” she said.

Nash was also happy with how quickly everyone was notified. Frontier Principal Martha Barrett was fetched from her nearby home, Nash herself was tracked down in the middle of a meeting, and parents of Deerfield Elementary and Frontier students were informed with an automated call about 45 minutes after the incident began.

Its message told parents what was found, what was done about it, and assured them that nobody was hurt, and no need for concern.

Wednesday, said Nash, police provided officers to Frontier, which she said would continue “for the foreseeable future” at the start and end of the school day, as well as after-school events.

“We had three Deerfield police officers and a state trooper here,” said Barrett. “They were out on the sidewalks, walking around as the day started, there to reassure people that we’re on top of things.”

Other than that, Barrett said, it was a quiet day at Frontier.

Today’s 6 p.m. talent show, and other extracurriculars, will continue as scheduled, said Nash.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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