Student’s alleged threats make teachers nervous

Perkins school official: teachers are overreacting
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 4, 2014

 

Police arrested a boy, 9, for allegedly threatening to fatally shoot students and teachers at Meadowlawn Intermediate School this past week, two days after the concerns first surfaced.

The boy made the threats Wednesday and returned to school the next day, despite objections from some teachers and students.

On Friday, police charged the fourth-grader with aggravated menacing and school officials handed him a three-day suspension.

His parents had removed him from school Wednesday and administrators met with the family that evening, according to a Perkins police report.    

Building principal Chris Gasteier and Perkins Schools resource officer Dan McLaughlin investigated further by interviewing students the next day about the alleged threats.

Troubled by the decision to immediately return the boy to school, two Meadowlawn Intermediate School teachers went to the police department Thursday night to document their concerns.

“They advised many of the children in their classes were scared because (the student) was back, and both advised they have fielded phone calls from multiple parents who were scared for their children’s safety,” according to the report filed after the teachers complained.

“Both (teachers) advised they went to the school administrator about being concerned with (him) being back in school,” the report continued. “He told them they were overreacting”

The teachers told police they learned the boy might have access to guns at home, according to the report.

They heard they were on the boy’s rumored hit list, along with several students, who claimed the boy said he’d “blow their heads off” they said in the report.

In the report, police said they told the teachers “there is nothing the police department can do” regarding the boy’s return to classes. They advised the teachers discuss the issue with upper administrators while investigations continued.

McLaughlin’s initial police report about the incident, filed Thursday morning, simply stated a student “made inappropriate comments in the lunch room” and an investigation was pending. His report didn’t disclose details about the shooting threats until after the boy received criminal charges Friday and the Register requested an updated document.

Gasteier wouldn’t comment on the matter and referred the Register to superintendent Jim Gunner, the district’s official spokesman.

When contacted Monday, Gunner said the district and its administrators handled the situation appropriately.

He told the Register the district will not release any details about the incident, citing student privacy laws.

Gunner has not received any calls from parents about the alleged threats, but he plans to meet with two staff members this week about the issue, he said.

“Mr. Gasteier investigated the situation thoroughly and took appropriate action to address the student involved and ensure the safety of the rest of the building,” Gunner said. “I’d like you to remember, we’re dealing with a young kid who made statements angrily. We held the kid accountable and we’re working with students and parents to address their concerns”

Comments

donutshopguy

In today's environment you can't underestimate any possibility.

Mr Gunner, if the child made these angry statements with a gun you would have the possibility of dead kids. Most deadly situation occur with anger involved .

Your comment excusing the child troubles me.

deertracker

Wonder what kind of psycho/ADHD drugs he is on!

holysee

guns are

slightthroat212

I wonder what the parent's think of all this and what THEIR stand is on all of this? After all, it is their responsibility, now that they are made aware, to do all that is necessary to correct this boy's problems before he even re-enters this school. At age 9, for him to have a "hit list" is troubling to anyone, but to back it up with threats such as this is even worse.

why not lay responsibility where it lays...with this kids parents!! Keep him out of school until you get him straightened out and do the right thing or the "little darling" may become a national statistic and take a few innocent people with him.

rrouth

he didnt really do it i know him and his parents

Fibber Mcgee

Maybe Gunner should attend the School Violence Workshop?

AEversole

This is so pathetic , and blown out of proportion that it makes my stomach hurt. I am totally aware of the incidents that have happened in the past to put these teachers in this constant state of fear. He is nine , there is only one documented case in the world of anyone younger then 11 shooting a classmate at school. And the other case of the 11 & 13 year old in Arkansans was the next youngest case. So there have been 2 cases involving kids under 13 in the world. This leads me to believe that the school and teachers should be be more concerned about figuring out the obvious issues this child has instead of arresting, out casting, and labeling this child in the media. The initial police report says the boy made inappropriate comments,,,,,,,, and that's what it was. If when I was a child , every kid that made a inappropriate comment, or a hot headed remark got arrested , no one would have been left in class.... These teachers should be ashamed of their behavior, and be trying to figure out how to save thus young boys future instead of condemning it.
People need to get out of this state of fear that they live in, that leads to hasty, dramatic, and stupid decisions. No wonder our schools and education have taken a backseat to our international equals... I will pray for all involved ,especially this little boy and his family

wally44824

Why is it the responsibility of the school and teachers to deal with this PROBLEM CHILD? The PROBLEM CHILD made a threat to shoot students and teachers, and regardles of what these teachers may have done in the past, it has no relevance to this situation. As for the age of the PROBLEM CHILD, haven't you been paying attention to society and seeing that kids are doing things at a much younger age than they have in the past. Much like the administrators at Perkins who wanted to simply dismiss this threat and allowed the PROBLEM CHILD to come back to school the next day, all of you need to GET A CLUE!!!!

dbstr

Actually the youngest was a six year old in the United States that shot and killed his classmate Kayla Rolland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay.... He got that gun from his uncle's house, so it doesn't really matter if the parents have weapons in the home. However, it doesn't stop there, in Washington (again the United States) a NINE year old boy shot a girl in school. http://news.sky.com/story/928377... . In this article a seven year old (United States) brought a gun to school http://www.cbsnews.com/news/seve.... If for some reason you think that school shootings don't happen, maybe you should take a look at this list and decide for yourself if something is being blown out of proportion or not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis...
But at any rate you should change your comment to read " under age 10" because that would be more accurate. Or you can be less vague and just say that one school shooting happened where the child was of the same age as the student in question AND one where the child was younger than the student in question.

So, you think it was blown out of proportion, I say it should be taken seriously so that the boy understands that threats can get him into trouble. Do you realize that Kip Kinkel got caught with a gun in his locker and was suspended, but he returned to his school the very next day and killed two and wounded 24 students? He killed his parents at home the night before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kip...

Hopefully this student gets help to sort out why he is so angry and how he can solve his problems without violence.

lmalley77

Awesome post dbstr!!!! Especially since you backed it up with facts!!!!! Any person can Google "children that have murdered" and there would be a while lot more to list, these ones dbstr. Listed for us are only the ones that involve guns!! Kids can find other ways to kill as well if they want to bad enough!!! All it would have taken was one kitchen knife and this little boy who is obviously mentally troubled could have killed anyone!! And even if he had only been able to kill one, and not his whole "hit list," that would be one WAY too many!!!!!

AEversole

And I realize that if the boy would have shot another child, and the school dismissed his threats as inappropriate remarks, their would be another discussion on how the ball was dropped, but the evidence that there has only ever been one child younger then 11 to kill another kid at school , leads me to believe that this is what it sounds like. A young kid lashing out for attention, and the school isn't their to help . Teachers use to save lives not destroy them.. I'm sorry but get real

ladydye_5

Do you have children? Do you have children IN school? It is NO where near what it was when "we were in school". Kids are suspended for a poptart chewed into a shape that resembles a gun. Little girls are suspended for talking about a Barbie bubble gun. This is not 1970...0r even 1990. People are out of control...and kids are too. There are SMALL children that bring guns to school in their backpacks. Ok they might not shoot anyone, but they have been found. But what if that 1% chance it happens? YOU are willing to take that chance with CHILDRENS LIVES???? You go ahead and do that. The kids today are living in a world completely different than what WE grew up in. Adults deal with things completely different than our parents did. I am sorry AEversole, get real.

the unsilent majority's picture
the unsilent ma...

I do have kids in this very school and I think your paranoia is out of control

ladydye_5

It is not my paranoia. It is societies. I am not the one who suspended a kid for a poptart, or a Barbie bubble gun. But if a child threatens others child and teachers along with a so called hit list...I think something should be done, yes. The parents and the school need to figure out why the child is acting out. I agree, many things are blown out of proportion. But in this day and age no one knows where that fine line is. Who do you believe and who is just making idle threats.

holysee

You are wrong plain and simple. Your stats are made-up. DO you lovingly stroke your guns at night? So we are all safe as long as the kid has not reached the age of 11. What a relief! 11 is the magic number.

DickTracey

I do know that age 12 is the magic number to have the State Patrol come over and watch porn with your son, while he teaches him to masturbate.

Maybe that's the way to go, then kids will play with themselves instead of guns.

Dr. Information

First off don't turn this topic into a gun control argument because no 9 year old should be able to get a gun whatsoever. In these days, school systems have to overreact or they face getting sued. Plain and simple. If the boy is crying out, why not put the ball in the parents court and let them figure it all out. Its not the schools problem to deal with.

Just more parents not being parents.

Julie R.

I don't blame the teachers at all for being nervous in this day & age. If I were a parent to any of the kids in that school, I also would be furious with the way it was handled. I think Gunner and the rest of them need to get in the real world. All threats to bring a gun to school and shoot students & teachers ~ even from a 9-year-old ~ should be taken seriously.

deertracker

I agree!

dbstr

I agree!

Thomas Paine

I think all of us need to take a step back. What information do we have that the parents haven't done anything? Maybe they have? Maybe the school is aware of what the parents have done? Maybe that is why Gasteier and Gunner treated things the way they did? Obviously the teachers did not agree with the administrations decision. I am not in any way defending them however, there are way to many variables to make a valid argument either way as to how this should have or could have been handled. With no first hand account or facts I am staying clear of vilifying a 9 year old, the parents, the teachers, or the administration because I have no facts about any of them.

I will comment on things where we have facts.

Facts:

1. A student was taken out of school for threats made to administration and to students.

2. Teachers went above their superiors to report the issues.

As a parent of a student at Meadowlawn I didn't know any of this until it appeared in the paper. Maybe others were informed? Over reacting or not, If a student is unruly and threats were made to staff or other students and a child is charged and suspended and removed from school with such a serious allegation that could involve the well being of all students, I think its unacceptable as a parent to not be informed prior to it appearing in the paper. I am also concerned school officials are not all on the same page in situations like this considering teachers are going above their superiors to make reports.

As always everyone on the register blogs like to make up things and pretend to be experts and offer their 'expert' opinions on a situation based only on innuendos and rumors.

Just my opinion but had we been better informed prior to it appearing in the paper many of the concerns and questions could have been answered prior to another PR mess within my school district.

dbstr

We just got informed officially today. However, when a police officer was doing something a block away we were informed about that the same day. Seems a little backwards if you ask me.

Perkins Resident

I also find it unacceptable to find this out in the Register. Thank you to the teachers who took these threats seriously. The Board needs to ask our Superintendent why this was handled this way. A letter was sent home today from Meadowlawn only AFTER this made the papers and now it seems they are on damage control. Totally unacceptable.

YoMamma

Now if the kid bit his chicken nugget in the shape of a gun... Zero Tolerance, he would have been expelled!

Nor'easter

Remove the concealed carry restriction on your staff and protect the students. All this restriction does is assure that law abiding citizens will be unable to stop a would be shooter. What happened to parental responsibility and common sense?

419og

perkins parents are the worst