Life at Thomas River High School has become more complicated recently, but no one seems to know what to do about it. Students and teachers can't take their personal safety for granted anymore. Physical violence, once rare only a year ago, is now on everyone's minds. Students are intimidated by groups calling themselves 'gangs'. Teachers are openly threatened. The School Committee has begun to explore the cost of installing a metal detector at the front door. Police presence in the halls of the high school is making everybody nervous.
In April, 14 students and one teacher were killed in a high school in Colorado by two of their classmates. Two weeks ago, a popular sophomore girl was found semi-conscious on the floor of the ladies room having overdosed on heroin, a drug previously thought unfamiliar to the student body. Last weekend, a fight broke out at a school dance and two Thomas River boys were stabbed in knife fights that required hospitalization. One of these students remains in serious condition. Last week, someone left a note on a wall of the boy's restroom warning everyone that "Thomas River is next."
Parents, students, teachers and administrators are scared. In response to these growing concerns, the Superintendent has called this meeting to plan a strategy for keeping the peace.