Student Sets Off Firecracker Inside Southern Middle

Principal Jason Dykstra posted a letter to parents on the school's AACPS website Tuesday discussing the incident.

UPDATE (3:40 p.m.)—A Southern Middle School student brought several firecrackers to school Tuesday and set one of them off inside a locker room, according to a letter posted on the school's website by principal Jason Dykstra.

“This morning, one of our students brought firecrackers to school and sold two packs of them to fellow schoolmates. Later in the morning, the student who brought and sold the firecrackers lit one off in the boys locker room,” wrote Dykstra in the letter to parents that was posted on the Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ (AACPS) Southern Middle website.

No one was injured during the incident and all students are safe, the principal added.

In the letter, Dykstra explained that he was alerted about the incident and went directly to the gym to speak with the students involved. Within a few minutes, he learned the identity of the student who lit the firecracker. Dykstra said in the letter that all the firecrackers were confiscated and accounted for, except the one that was lit.

"Obviously bringing firecrackers to school is not a wise move in the first place. But in light of what happened last week in Connecticut, it's even more unwise," said AACPS spokesman Bob Mosier. "We're really fortunate here that no one got hurt ... including the person who set it off."

Consequences for the student responsible are still being discussed as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Dykstra.

“Especially in the wake of last week’s tragic events in Connecticut, these types of incidents are not humorous. We take them very seriously and I urge you to talk to your children about the inappropriateness of bringing such items into our school setting,” Dykstra wrote.

The principal commended students who came forward and said they were essential in providing “key information” to administrators.

Dykstra invited parents with questions to call the school at 410-222-1659. 

Nicole suplee December 19, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Parents, please educate your children that this only makes our community look bad. Negative attention is the last thing anyone should want! Let's make a difference with positive actions and good deeds!
Sue B. December 19, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Totally agree!! WE have great schools here in South County and great students. Please be involved with your children and know what they are doing. We have a great community here in SoCo and it is a shame to see some bad decisions (looking for attention) get the focus. Hats off to Mr. Dykstra and to Mr. Prococcini earlier for being right on top of these school situations and for keeping parents in the loop! They are both doing a great job!
Steve S. December 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
There's been a great deal of discussion lately about keeping deadly weapons locked away from mentally ill children. Looks like the same should apply to firecrackers. Whatever human being considered it acceptable to bring firecrackers to school, sell some and detonate some, has a mental illness. Same goes for the human beings who purchased part of the inventory.


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