MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Safety inside Medford schools is being questioned and parents are outraged after a loaded magazine was found in an auditorium and not reported to the authorities, but officials are putting plans in place to ease the fear of families in the city.
On Thursday, Mayor Stephanie Burke announced that Principal Jake Edwards was on paid leave. School officials found that he may have thrown out the magazine in December while cleaning out his office.
Medford Superintendent Roy Belson said a professional cleaning crew found the loaded magazine back on Dec. 29. The crew reportedly turned the magazine over to an in-house custodian. That custodian then locked the clip away in the principal’s office.
The incident was never reported to police or parents. Two months later, a city councilor learned about it, and notified police.
Belson has apologized. Since then, police dogs have searched all public schools in Medford. Nothing has been found.
Medford has hired former Attorney General Martha Oakley, who is now practicing at a private law firm, to perform an independent investigation.
“As a former Attorney General and District Attorney, I am confident that the investigation will be conducted thoroughly and purposefully,” Coakley said in a statement.
Some parents say it’s time for Belson, who is set to retire at the end of the school year, to go.
“He didn’t handle it well, so yeah, I think he should get let go,” one parent said.
Schools will be closed Monday. Staff and administrators will use that day to discuss safety and security.
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