An eighth-grader who reportedly created a hit list and threatened a fellow student has been removed from Amherst Junior High School.
Children reported the disturbing situation to administrators Wednesday, Sept. 26 after catching a glimpse of the list, according to principal Andrew Gibson.
While all threats to student safety are treated as credible, Gibson said that based on the evidence he did not feel it was necessary to create a panic by putting the school on lockdown.
“The message we want to send parents is that (school police officer Eric) Layfield was on the premises immediately and everything was determined to be safe for the rest of the students in the building,” he said.
Layfield and Amherst detectives spoke with the suspect and his parents, who were cooperative.
A check of the eighth-grader’s home revealed he “does not appear to have easy access to any firearms at this time,” according to a statement from police.
School officials removed the child from classes pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. The suspect has not at this time been expelled.
Police continue to look into the hit list and are in the process of determining what charges may or may not be made.
Gibson said attendance was normal the following day, despite worries that some parents would choose to keep kids home out of an abundance of caution.
He did not address the incident with students, instead directing staff to answer questions as needed to make sure no misinformation was spread.
The principal said he spent most of the morning answering phone calls, reassuring parents, and dispelling rumors bred via social media.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.