School officials vigilant after Beech Grove H.S. threat
There was increased security Monday at Beech Grove schools after a threat was found written in a high school bathroom.
Administrators wanted to reassure parents after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
"Everybody should know it's not a joke, it's going to be taken seriously and is going to be investigated," said Capt. Robert Mercuri, Beech Grove Police.
The written threat was found in Beech Grove High School the day before 20 students and six teachers were murdered at the Connecticut school.
"It was discovered in a girls bathroom. Someone had written a hit list on it, with the name of seven female students," Mercuri said.
The threat said "DIE," along with a disparaging word for women.
"I think it's irresponsible. They're putting themselves and other people in danger," said one student after classes Monday.
"It's disrespectful to deface property that's not yours," said another student.
"It really makes you wonder if it could happen, after what happened to the kids in Connecticut. You understand why they're taking this so seriously," said a third student.
They took it very seriously, says Beech Grove Schools Superintendent Doctor Paul A. Kaiser. He notified all seven girls whose names appeared on the list and their families, then sent messages to all 800 high school families.
There have been no suspects identified yet and Kaiser doesn't think there is a continuing threat.
"I believe absolutely not. We believe this may have been a young lady mad at other students," he said.
But the threat remains under investigation.
"It's kind of scary, when this can escalate to the point where someone has to write something on the bathroom stall," Kaiser said.
It's the third threat case in two years in the district. The schools had already laid plans for a training program this coming spring to prepare students for dealing with conflict before it gets out of hand, creating a team of trained "student mediators," Kaiser said.
"No metal detector and no locked doors are going to solve this problem. It's got to be kids coming forward and talking," Kaiser said.
If you have any information on the identity of the person who scrawled the threat on the bathroom stall, call Beech Grove police.
Police and schools want all young people to know such threats are not taken lightly and can lead to arrest.