Parents in a suburban Kentucky school district have sent a clear message to administrators: They don’t want a teenager who allegedly created a “kill list” of students back in the classroom with their children.
The worried parents spoke out last week after learning that the Boone County Board of Education had allowed the 14-year-old suspect to return to school despite having been charged with second-degree terroristic threats.
“Whatever help he has gotten, he is still a threat,” worried parent Deanne Corbin said at a school board meeting in Boone County, which is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, according to local NBC affiliate WLWT.
Parent Rob Bidleman, who said his child was on the teenage suspect’s “active kill list,” struggled to contain his emotions as he described hearing about the development from Andy Wyckoff, the Conner High School principal.
“When I received the call from the principal, it was emotionally devastating,” Bidleman said. “All I could think about was my child was in danger when they did nothing wrong.”
Another parent, Karen Wells, said Wyckoff has been put into a difficult situation because his own son was one of the threatened students.
“I don’t think it’s the right decision for the administration,” Wells said. “I think it puts an unnecessary burden on Mr. Wyckoff with his own son on that list. He has to be impartial every day yet give this kid what he needs. Obviously, this kid needs a community to get behind him to help him because one day he’s going to be in our society.”
Wyckoff told NBC News on Monday that because the 14-year-old is a juvenile, his records are sealed and that he is not aware of the status of the charges against him.
Wyckoff was also adamant that his son will remain at Connor High School even though he was one of the threatened students.
“I am aware that some parents have moved their children to other schools, but I will not move my son,” he said.
On Friday, Boone County School District Superintendent Matthew Turner said in a letter to parents that his hands are tied and urged them to “talk to your local state legislator.”
“The Kentucky Constitution guarantees the right to a public education for every child without prejudice, and we are obligated to follow state law,” Turner wrote.
But the kids, Turner wrote, will be safe.
“I can assure you all appropriate safety measures have been taken and are in place,” the superintendent wrote. “Conner High School remains a safe school.”
In a separate case, a different 14-year-old Connor High School student was arrested in last year for posting online that he was “bringing a knife to school” to kill a specific teacher, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office reported on Oct. 19.
That student was also charged with second-degree terroristic threats, the department said.
“That is a different case that I will be dealing with soon,” Wyckoff said. “This is a good school. This is not the kind of thing we usually deal with.”