DUDLEY (CBS) – While extra police patrolled Shepherd Hill Regional High in Dudley, student Cosmo Casamassa kicked a ball around at home in Charlton. School administrators and police told him not to attend the last day of school because another student called the 16-year-old a threat. “I wanted to say bye to my teachers,” said Casamassa. “Today’s my actual last day as a sophomore.”
“A text went out saying he was going to blow up the school,” explained his stepmother Paulette Reed.
Casamassa has Asperger’s Syndrome, and says bullies have been teasing and calling him a “school shooter” all year. “I’m not popular and I’m kind of weird,” he says. “Schools have to expect that people are different.”
“He didn’t do anything wrong. He’s never made a threat to anybody. He has no access to anything,” said Reed.
Dudley-Charlton School Superintendent Gregg Desto said it was a late night decision administrators had to make without the benefit of time to research where the threats came from. He said in this day and age, schools have to err on the side of caution.
A message to parents went home Wednesday night saying, “…in the culture we live in now, even just a mention of this type of thing can be upsetting.”
Casamassa admitted his interest in military history and guns probably made him a target. “Asperger’s, we tend to have, when we know one thing, we know it so well. Since I was four years old, I’ve been studying military history,” he said. “I do not own any firearms.”
Casamassa says he knows school violence is a sensitive issue, but so is bullying, and keeping him home on this last day of school only made him feel worse. “It’s so sad,” said Reed. “It breaks my heart.”