COVENTRY, RI (WPRI) – Coventry police and the town’s school administration are investigating an incident involving a pellet gun that was brought to the middle school in a student’s backpack after racial slurs and threats were made on social media.
The mother of one of the students involved told Target 12 her daughter and at least one other student were communicating back and forth on Instagram when the conversation disintegrated into a racially-charged argument.
Another message to the target of the messages stated the other student would “just blow up ur family and kill everyone you love.”
Coventry School District Superintendent Mike Convery said he could not offer details, or say whether or not any students were disciplined. But he did acknowledge an investigation is underway.
“An incident occurred at Feinstein Middle School on Monday that involved several students,” Convery said. “It is currently under investigation by school authorities and Coventry police.”
The mother of the student who received the threats, who is not being identified in order to protect her daughter’s identity, called the incident shocking and frightening.
“It was really scary,” she said. “[The other student] basically said, I’m going to kill you and your family. And she said my gun’s in my back pack right now.”
Coventry police confirmed that a pellet gun that was concealed in a backpack was confiscated at the middle school on Monday morning.
“Police told me even though it was a pellet gun, they would treat this very seriously,” the alleged victim’s mother said. “My daughter didn’t know whether it was a pellet gun or the real thing.”
She said the school called her after the incident happened.
“They said your daughter’s safe. She’s fine,” she said. “But when they mentioned that a gun was found in a book bag, I lost it.”
She said while Coventry’s school year ends next week, she is concerned about her daughter returning to school in September.
“The other student will be back as well,” she said. “I don’t know what I should do.”
The students involved are not being identified because they are juveniles.