PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Pell City sixth grader is expelled after officials discovered a death list in the student’s notebook. This comes just weeks after a similar incident at Hewitt-Trussville High School was made public.
The police chief and superintendent tell CBS42 that student safety is a top priority for Pell City Schools, and incidents threatening that safety will not be tolerated.
The death list discovered and reported included the names of five classmates. Superintendent James Martin says although it was not deemed a credible threat of immediate harm to students, it was still a threat, and they were not willing to take any chances.
“At that point, when you have a threat, you really need to remove the threat from the school climate,” Superintendent Martin said. “Unfortunately we are not in a day in time where we can compromise safety and that’s why we take this seriously.”
Martin says the parents of each student directly affected were notified upon the discovery of the list. He encourages parents to talk to their children and remind them this kind of behavior is unacceptable.
“Those types of things are things we need to have discussions with our children at home basically to try to, one, reassure that it’s not acceptable,” Martin said. “Secondly, on our end is this- we have to remain vigilant”
Martin says they receive wonderful support from the Pell City Police Department and that they work diligently to keep their youth safe, especially when direct threats are involved.
“We take all those seriously until we can prove them otherwise,” Chief Clay Morris said. “We don’t have an option there. We have to take any threat or alleged threat seriously, and really from a law enforcement standpoint that’s our primary job- to protect those children. And we do that for every one until we deem it not a threat.”
Chief Morris says a school resource officer will be at Williams Intermediate School fulltime starting next week. Their goal is to have SROs at all eight schools by the end of Christmas break.