2 IL students suspended after alleged threats

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Both recommended for expulsion from ILHS, ILMS

By Mark Manicone

Two Indian Land students, a 15-year-old at the high school and a 12-year-old middle-schooler, have been suspended and recommended for expulsion after being accused of making violent threats while in school.
The 15-year-old boy was overheard Wednesday saying, “I’m going to shoot up this f---ing school,” according to an initial report from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
The 12-year-old boy got in a disagreement with another student and indicated that “he was lucky he didn’t have a gun, or he’d blow his head off,” the sheriff’s office reported.
The sheriff’s office will move to file a complaint on both students with the Department of Juvenile Justice under the student threats statute, code section 16-17-425.
The recently added section states that it is “unlawful for school or college students to make threats to take the lives of or to inflict bodily harm upon others by using any form of communication whatsoever.”
The school district put the two students on 10-day suspensions, pending a hearing on their expulsion. They will also be assessed by a mental health professional.
District Safety and Transportation Director Bryan Vaughn said both incidents seemed to occur out of anger, and that there is no credible threat to either of the schools.
“We don’t believe [the high school student] has the mechanics to carry this out,” Vaughn said. “It was just a spontaneous comment, but in this day and age, we take every threat seriously.”
The high school student had an earlier disciplinary referral that day, and had threatened to come back and shoot up the school, according to Vaughn.
The middle school student was “arguing with a group of kids and made reference to a threat involving a firearm,” Vaughn said.
“Of course he didn’t have a firearm, but because of the nature of that threat, the student was referred to law enforcement,” he added.
After the high school threat was made, Vaughn sent out a Remind app text message and a ConnectEd call notifying all IL parents of the situation.
“We just didn’t want the rumor mill to get out of control,” he said.