We attempted to bring you this story sooner, we repeatedly attempted to get comment from school leadership, but staff at Excel Academy repeatedly hung up on us and refused to provide contact information. Some staff members even screamed at us before slamming the phone down.
At approximately 15:22 hours on Wednesday, November 17, District A7 Officers responded to 401 Bremen Street, Excel Academy, for reports that staff had taken possession of a students loaded firearm. On arrival, officers were told that after learning of vaping products being sold on school property, school staff had conducted a search of students.
During the search, school staff recovered the loaded gun. The firearm was secured and the juvenile male was detained by staff prior to Officers arrival. The firearm was determined to be a Highpoint 9mm with two rounds of ammunition in the magazine.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident. The juvenile is being charged out of Chelsea District Court with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm on School Property, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.
Charter schools are required to report critical incidents to the Massachusetts Department of Education. According to a representative for the DOE:
“Excel is its own school district. Each campus has a leader, and there is a board of trustees that oversees the schools. The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education authorized their charter, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) monitors the school’s performance but is not involved in day-to-day operations. Charter schools are expected to notify DESE of significant incidents such as a weapon on campus.”
You can find the school incident statistics here.
Regulation 1.08 (10) states that every charter school shall notify the Department in writing of all significant matters within two business days. Significant matters include, but are not limited to, all communications made or received by or on behalf of the school with any government audit, investigative, or law enforcement agency. Excel notified DOE of the incident the same day.
Like other public schools, charter schools are required to have the following policies for school safety: a Multi-Hazard Evacuation Plan and a Medical Emergency Response Plan. Emergency management is available on their website: https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/emergencyplan/default.html.