Parents say middle schooler made previous death threats

Posted at: 11/01/2012 9:16 PM
Updated at: 11/02/2012 8:07 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Is it possible a middle school student threatened to shoot classmates last year only to return this year and make another threat?

Several parents at Hoover Middle School say yes.

Although Albuquerque Public Schools suspended three male students yesterday, today there were twice as many absences at Hoover Middle School.

APS said 66 students were absent Wednesday, 134 students were absent Thursday.

Going forward, parents are expressing concern over one student in particular.

"If he comes back, I don't know what we'll do. Because we don't feel safe," said Nancy Jones of Albuquerque.

Jones said an 8th grade boy is a real danger to Hoover Middle School. She said he threatened to shoot her son and other students last school year.

"I was able to tell the principal about what was going on and the authorities came and he was suspended for the rest of the school year. But he's back now," she said.

Jones and other parents tell KOB-TV the boy is one of three Hoover 8th graders suspended Wednesday after a student alerted the principal to a disturbing drawing.

The drawing had five names on it, including the boy in question.

It depicted guns and the school cafeteria. Albuquerque police interviewed the five students, two aren’t APS students.

The boy's mother spoke with KOB-TV off-camera late Thursday night.

She admits her son threatened another student last year and was suspended. She said he threatened the student with having men with AK47s come after him because he felt threatened by that student. But she denies her son had anything to do with plot to shoot classmates this week.

She said the cryptic document handed over to the principal was just a drawing from a video game. She says the fact that the cafeteria was drawn on the paper was just part of the make-believe scene. She said her son had no idea his name was on it and hopes he can return to school.

All five denied a plot. A sixth person believed to possibly be involved in the threat has not been found, said APS.

Albuquerque police allowed school to continue as normal after it was determined the threat was not credible.

"I cannot. I have absolutely no knowledge of that," said APS spokesperson Monica Armenta when asked whether one of the five students had made a previous threat.

APS can’t comment on the specific student Jones is talking about.

Armenta explains it would violate the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The district’s disciplinary policy says “automatic expulsion” would happen if a student brought a gun to school or a school event.

But, it also states a school can recommend expulsion if a student has been suspended long-term, two or more times.

And that’s what Jones hopes will happen.

Jones said she is concerned the boy would carry out a school shooting.

“I am very concerned that maybe a year or two or something he is so fixated about this that he'll possibly be able to do that."

APS credits its system called Safe School Response Plan.

It encourages students to report anything they think might be suspicious.

APS says students alerted school officials in both the Hoover case and the Hillerman case a month and a half ago.