Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Education

Pasco deputies beef up security after threat at Mary Giella Elementary

SHADY HILLS — Pasco sheriff's deputies beefed up security at Mary Giella Elementary School on Thursday after someone involved in an outside business dispute sent a threatening letter to the school.

"There were threats made to the safety of the school, and while they were not specific threats, we notified law enforcement," district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said.

The incident started when someone not affiliated with the school became unhappy with a school employee's husband.

"It has absolutely nothing to do with district business," Romagnoli said.

The person sent a letter to the school that said "he'll come to the school and do whatever it takes to get his money," Romagnoli said.

The district has sent a letter notifying parents.

"Some members of our staff have received threats of violence from a disgruntled person regarding a personal matter that is unrelated to school business. We immediately contacted law enforcement, and they are actively investigating this situation," wrote principal George Papaemanuel.

Papaemanuel assured parents that officials will "take necessary steps to ensure the safety of our campus" and urged anyone with concerns to contact his office.

Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll confirmed that the agency was investigating but would not release details, citing the ongoing investigation. He said there would continue to be "increased law enforcement presence" at the 500-student campus until deputies determine if there is any threat to students and teachers.

It's been a tough week for Mary Giella Elementary.

The school also made headlines this week after Jamie Dabrowski, a fourth-grade teacher, was accused of repeatedly allowing students to give her massages after being instructed not to let that occur.

Superintendent Heather Fiorentino is recommending that Dabrowski, 33, a Pasco County teacher since 2004, be suspended for five days without pay for letting her students massage her back, neck, shoulders and temples. The School Board is set to hear the matter Tuesday.

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