Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2001

Eudora teen suspended for alleged threats

March 22, 2001

A Eudora teen has been suspended from school after allegedly threatening violence while riding on a Eudora High school bus.

Eudora School Superintendent Dave Winans said a 15-year-old male student made comments on the bus about using guns and shooting people. The comments were made after the high school's early dismissal on March 14. After an anonymous call by a student to the Kansas Highway Patrol Safe Schools Hotline, officials went into action to resolve the matter, Winans said.

"We know this kind of comment is taken seriously," he said. "The severity of the threat was such that we had to get the police involved. This is a reminder that possible harm to our students is taken seriously and is not to be tolerated."

Eudora Police Chief Bill Long said hotline workers forwarded the information to school officials, who then contacted the police department.

Long said about five students had been interviewed in regards to the alleged threats.

"We've interviewed witnesses and the reports have been turned over to the district attorney's office," he said.

Prosecuting Attorney Bethany Daniels said Wednesday that her office had yet to take action on the matter.

"I haven't reviewed the report yet," Daniels said.

Winans said the student has been suspended. School officials interviewed students who reportedly heard the 15-year-old make the threats. Winans said the 15-year-old could be expelled if officials deem necessary.

"We will make an inquiry and the outcome will determine out action, which could likely be exclusion," he said. "Procedures we followed were the same as if any student had violated a rule or policy. We're having to build a bridge to protect his rights but protect our people."

Winans said at no time were any students or staff in danger. However, he said this incident was a wake-up call to the possibility that any threat could, in fact, be real.

"It's not a coincidence that this follows San Diego and Pennsylvania," Winans said. "It's a reminder that no one's immune. It could happen to anybody."

Long said he thought the process worked well. He credited cooperation between law enforcement agencies, the school district and the anonymous tip for the incident-free resolve.

"I think (the hotline) worked like it should," Long said. "I think it's good that somebody stepped up and turned him in."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.