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Boston police increasing presence outside Dorchester school following student shooting

There will reportedly be a visible police presence at Jeremiah E. Burke High School in the coming days.

Jeremiah E. Burke High School
Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

Boston Public Schools is increasing the police presence outside Jeremiah E. Burke High School and responding to concerns about the district’s communication after a student was shot outside the Dorchester school on Tuesday. 

It was the second violent attack the school has seen in recent weeks; an 18-year-old was stabbed at the high school on Sept. 14. 

On Tuesday, a teenage boy was shot outside the school around 9:30 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, and a suspect, a 17-year-old boy who is believed to be a student at the high school, was arrested and charged.

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In a letter to families, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said the school will have a visible police presence in the coming days and that a team of social workers, as well as additional district and city staff, will be on site Wednesday providing support to students and educators, according to WCVB.

“Violence will not be tolerated in or near our schools,” Skipper said in a statement. “Our school communities are where we should be coming to celebrate the good work that’s happening each day. Today, and in the days to come, our attention turns to the students and the adults here who — directly or not — have been impacted by this horrific act of violence.”

Skipper is also reportedly acknowledging a failure in communication in the hours after the shooting. A notification about the shooting wasn’t sent out until after school hours, according to Boston 25 News

In a letter to families, obtained by the news station, Skipper said the district “must communicate with our families swiftly and efficiently.”

“That did not happen as quickly as it should have today and we apologize,” she said. “We are currently reviewing our internal systems to ensure such a lag in  communication never occurs again.”

After the shooting, Boston City Councilors At-Large Julia Meija and Ruthzee Louijeune are calling for officials to listen to students as part of any response to the violence, WHDH reports.

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“We can really take our lead from the students who are living the realities and create the environment that they see for themselves,” Mejia told the station. “And I think if we include them in that process, then we might potentially see different results.”

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