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North Hills

McKnight Elementary principal apologizes for failing to inform parents about threat

Tony LaRussa
| Thursday, March 1, 2018, 5:24 p.m.
McKnight Elementary School
McKnight Elementary School

The principal of an elementary school in the North Allegheny School District sent a letter to parents apologizing for failing to immediately inform them about a threat that was discovered in a bathroom.

The apology sent out on March 1 from Christopher Shute, principal at McKnight Elementary, informed parents that on Feb. 27 a student found a threatening message written in the third-grade girls' bathroom and informed her teacher, who notified building administration, according to a copy of the letter viewed by the Trib.

“During the course of the afternoon, an internal investigation was conducted to identify who the target of the message was in addition to the perpetrator,” Shute wrote in the letter. “Students were interviewed, teachers shared their insights and the hallway video was reviewed to compile information. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the threat was not credible and the safety of students was never in jeopardy.”

Shute noted that while the families of the children involved were notified, others were not told about what happened.

“In hindsight, I realize that additional steps should have been taken to better inform all McKnight families,” Shute wrote.

Shute also said that while the threat “was immediately investigated to ensure student safety,” the incident was not relayed to his immediate supervisor or McCandless police.

“These steps should have been completed and I take personal responsibility for this oversight,” he said. “I apologize for the lack of communication to the McKnight community and understand the various emotions and frustrations this has caused.

“I will continue to take every threat seriously as the safety of our school remains my number one priority,” Shute wrote.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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