MEDFORD (WBZ-AM) -- A contentious school committee meeting was held in Medford Thursday night, as School Superintendent Roy Belson took responsibility for failing to report a loaded ammunition clip found in the middle school last year to police.
"I'm telling you outright I made a mistake in judgement," Belson told the crowd. "I thought I was doing the right thing because I didn't want to raise anxiety over something, and undoubtedly I did raise anxiety."
Facing a vocal crowd of several hundred, the committee decided to cancel classes Monday to hold an emergency professional development day.
Belson called for moving the conversation on school safety forward.
"You want to blame me, you want to be angry at me, okay, I understand that," he said. "But right now, this school committee, the mayor, the police chief, and all the other people are trying to help put something together that will make it even safer."
Several parents called for Belson to resign, but school committee member Paulette Van der Kloot defended him.
"He's a good man who made a bad mistake," she said.
The clip was found in the McGlynn School auditorium over winter break, but wasn't reported for six weeks.
Belson said he believed it was an isolated incident, and didn't want to alarm the community.
On Thursday, 17 teams of law enforcement swept Medford Schools, finding no weapons or suspicious items.
That same day, Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke announced at a press conference that McGlynn School Principal Jake Edwards had been placed on leave for his failure to report the magazine after he received it from the custodian over winter break.
Mayor Burke said his handling of the discovery of the magazine put the entire school community at risk.
Former Attorney General Martha Coakley has been hired to conduct an independent investigation.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope reports