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‘Kill list’ raises many questions

March 15, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

In the 2004 movie "Mean Girls," a group of high school students called The Plastics express their disdain for classmates and others in what they call the burn book. The four so-called friends use the book to write down nasty comments and sometimes attach a picture; but, they never make any real threats.

A recent situation at Jennings Randolph Elementary School and the movie share some similarities, and unfortunately, the real life version is much more serious. The film is billed as a comedy, and there's certainly nothing funny about what's being said to have happened at our local kindergarten through fifth grade school.

This week, The Inter-Mountain received an email from an irate parent who said her daughter was interviewed by school officials because the child may have overheard a conversation among other students planning a "kill list." Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares confirmed that investigators determined some students may have been talking about making a list of people who would be killed.

Asking why the mother was so upset obviously seems silly, but there's more to it. Apparently, the woman was never notified by school officials that the alleged incident had taken place or that her child was interviewed.

It's commendable that school officials took the rumor of the "kill list" seriously, conducted an investigation and, as Phares explained, "tracked down the alleged source." Those students, however, "denied any wrongdoing," Phares said.

Our question is: what happens from there? Is the school staff on any special alert? Will there be any general counseling sessions for the student body?

Parents, too, have questions. Mainly, they want to know why they haven't been told about what's allegedly going on at the school. The mother of the child who was interviewed and others hope to get answers at Monday night's board of education meeting.



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