Vampire rumors spur alert at Boston Latin - on bullying

Boston Latin School student Myles Friedman (left) said a police visit to the school earlier in the day had intensified the vampire rumor. Boston Latin School student Myles Friedman (left) said a police visit to the school earlier in the day had intensified the vampire rumor. (Bill Greene/globe staff)

By Megan Woolhouse and Maria Cramer 

Boston Latin School headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta issued a notice to parents and students yesterday quashing rumors of vampires at the school. An odd move for the head of a historic elite preparatory school, but Teta and Boston public school officials declined to elaborate on what triggered the unusual message.

They did, however, adamantly offer assurances that no one at the school has been hurt, arrested - or bitten.
"The headmaster believes that the outrageous rumors had reached a point where she had to say something to families to ensure that all students felt safe and respected," said Chris Horan, School Department spokesman.
While the episode sounds like something out of "Twilight," last year's hit film about a high school girl who falls in love with a vampire, it may be closer to the movie "Mean Girls."
Two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the incident said a group of girls at the school had been bullying at least one other student who likes to dress in Goth-style, a vampirish look popularized by musician Marilyn Manson. The officials said the girls began spreading a rumor that the student was a vampire who had cut someone's neck and sucked the blood.

When Boston police went to the school Wednesday on an unrelated matter, their presence fueled yet another rumor: that a vampire was being arrested, according to one of the law enforcement sources.

Several students and parents of students said police officers were posted at the school's main entrance Wednesday but it was unclear why.

Eddy Chrispin, Boston Police Department spokesman, said police spoke with several students at the school Wednesday "to quell the rumor" of vampires.
"The whole thing kind of took on a life of its own," Chrispin said.
The officers determined that the situation was an internal school matter.
Horan said in reference to the rumors that when you've got "an $800 million budget and 212 layoffs, this is not really a priority."
Teta issued her notice to parents in an e-mail sent yesterday at 8 a.m.
"It has come to my attention that rumors involving 'vampires' began spreading through the building yesterday," it said.
"I am very concerned that the safety of certain students may be jeopardized as targets of rumors and speculation," she wrote. "Please alert any adult in the building if you feel that any student is being harassed or targeted."
Teta denied requests for an interview yesterday, referring all questions to the School Department spokesman. But the memo appeared to raise new questions and rounds of speculation.
One student who contacted the Globe said a male student, rumored to be a werewolf, had threatened on Facebook to bring a gun to school because he was being harassed. Other students at the school yesterday said they had heard that a student had been bitten.

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