Student Arrested Following Death Threat

Posted at: 12/19/2012 6:57 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has schools across the country on edge and taking any threat, very seriously.

It's a lesson a 17 year old from Dover Eyota is learning the hard way.

The 17 year old allegedly told two of his fellow students that he was going to stab them. They told him that was a violent thing to say and he allegedly responded by saying "they hadn't seen violent yet."

School authorities say their staff overheard the threat and sprang into action.

"All school employees across the nation are a little more heightened," said superintendent Bruce Klaehn.

He says his teachers and staff are all taking school safety seriously and that's why a teacher didn't waste any time.

"One of our teachers overheard a conversation that raised a concern in his mind, they handed it over to administration who quickly headed to law enforcement," said Klaehn.

"We take a serious stance on protecting our children, they go to school that should be a place of learning not a place of fear," said Sgt. Tom Claymon.

Sgt. Claymon of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department says the student not only threatened other students, but also was in possession of a knife and had an alleged hit list.

"You threaten to kill somebody that's a crime in itself, if you've got the means in particular to carry it out that's a felony offense," said Sgt. Claymon.

He says all students should be aware that what they say will be taken seriously no matter what is said.

"You liken that to joking about and saying I've got a bomb in the airport, that's not going to be tolerated and that's the same as when we’re talking about the workplace or in this case a school, there's a zero tolerance."

"Maybe this will raise awareness that a comment that in the past that may have been ignored, you now pursuit it a little more," said Klaehn.

The superintendent says the actions taken by his staff is exactly what needs to happen in order to prevent any more school tragedies.

"We all are of the belief that the real solution to school safety comes down to what our staff can do to maybe step in and find potential problems before they escalate," said Klaehn.

The superintendent issued a release to parents and students. As for the 17-year-old, he's expected to be charged with making "terrorist threats”.