Student suspended after tip about list of ‘frustrating’ kids
A female Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School student has been suspended for 10 days after making a list of students she was “frustrated” with, said school principal Robbin Pedrett.
Authorities learned of the list after an anonymous tip was received by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office via its 783-SAFE line.
A parent was told about the list and made the call.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and school officials investigated the incident and determined there was no threat, Pedrett said.
The girl did not have access to guns or ammunition.
The students named on the list are being interviewed and could be disciplined, Pedrett added.
Pedrett is pleased the incident was reported and said it proves the school’s system to prevent violence works.
“After the Santee shooting, we want (students) to understand tolerance is important so that tragedies don’t happen on our campus,” she said.
Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy allegedly opened fire at Santana (Calif.) High School and killed two students and wounded 13 others.
By notifying authorities of the list, students at Pau-Wa-Lu “did exactly the right thing,” Pedrett said.
It’s unclear if the girl “actually threatened anybody,” she added.
After Wednesday’s investigation, additional deputies were present Thursday morning at Pau-Wa-Lu.
That presence and various rumors spread through campus by students alarmed parent Larry Silviera, who said he could not learn what happened from school officials.
Silviera said Friday he is not sending his child to school until school officials alleviate his concerns.
“We’re information ignorant,” he said.
Silviera said the silence is frustrating and that parents have a right to know of potential danger affecting their children.
Pedrett said confidentiality is part of the reason school officials declined to explain the incident to concerned parents on Thursday.
“Police were on campus (Thursday) morning,” she said. “They continued the investigation to see who else was involved. There was no danger.”
The girl regrets writing the list, she added.
“We make mistakes when we’re children,” Pedrett said. “What it was, was a frustration issue. She was frustrated with some of the students.”
Pedrett said students saw the list and “thought it was something more than it was.”
Reports filed by witnesses will be presented to the District Attorney for consideration of a formal hearing, Pedrett added.
The incident at Pau-Wa-Lu follows two unrelated incidents at Douglas County schools this month.
On March 16, a Douglas High School sophomore was arrested and charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder after allegedly asking two students to kill a female classmate.
Also, two students were arrested Wednesday after allegedly attacking a faculty member who tried to break up a fight at Douglas High School.
The caller who reported the Pau-Wa-Lu incident used the sheriff’s office 783-SAFE number.
Deputy Teresa Duffy said the phone line, which began in May 1999, was used exactly as intended.
In addition to being used to report possible serious incidents, Duffy said the line can be used for any school security concern.
The calls are routed directly to the sheriff’s office dispatch center.
Although the line has been used sparingly, it has proven effective, Duffy said.
“We’ve been able to take the information and really work the cases,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ve prevented (incidents).”
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