'Hit list' found at elementary school, investigation launched
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (WDAF) -- The Lee's Summit School District sent a letter Wednesday evening to parents of Richardson Elementary School students. According to the district spokesperson, a school employee learned of some sort of 'hit list' of students that was considered potentially threatening. After further investigation, it was determined that the situation was not considered dangerous to students. Richardson Elementary is located at 800 NE Blackwell Road.
According to administrators, two students were talking and one noticed the 'hit list' written down in the other's notebook. That student told a teacher and the investigation began.
After finding out, many parents were concerned. In talk among themselves, they said they discovered the student with the hit list is a sixth grade girl. However, the school district could not confirm this.
A father of one of the children on the list says he got a call from a school administrator telling him his daughter was listed. That father did not want to go on camera but he told FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien that administrators would not answer the follow-up questions he had, like how many students the list contained or the context of the threat or if the child will be allowed to come back to school.
Other parents notified were troubled, too.
"My stomach kind of drops," said Debra O'Bryan. "You just don't expect that in grade school."
"I was pretty aggravated," said another parent, Tyler Kennedy. "I don't want my kid going to a place like that where things like that happen."
Many of the parents FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke to were in agreement that they did not want the student back at school.
In late November, a student at Lee's Summit High School found a hit list entitled 'People I Want to Kill', which prompted Principal John Faulkenberry to alert parents and open an investigation. In that case, the juvenile was removed from the school. Read more here from our coverage of the high school 'hit list.'
The following is the letter sent to parents at Richardson Elementary.
Our goal at Richardson Elementary is to keep parents informed about all aspects of school, especially those involving student safety. Late in the day on January 12th, we learned of a potential written list of a limited number of students and staff in the possession of a Richardson student preliminarily identified as a "hit list." We wanted to share information with you about our school's investigation and actions related to this incident.
Initial investigations began Tuesday evening, upon student arrival on Wednesday, school administration immediately continued investigating, involving a Lee's Summit R-7 school resource officer and the Lee's Summit Police Department. This investigation continued throughout January 13th with school staff members also individually contacting the families of students on the list on Wednesday.
Based on the investigation and thorough threat assessment, we have determined that this situation does not pose a threat of harm to our students or school community. In addition, we do not believe that any other individual has been involved in creating the list. Moreover, we have no reason to believe that there is any danger for students attending school based on the information obtained throughout this comprehensive investigation. Please be assured that we take this type of behavior and any potential threat to our students and staff members very seriously. If we have additional information to share about this incident, we will communicate with parents again.
Due to student confidentiality laws, we cannot share the name of the student who created the list or share specifics of any discipline related to this student. We can share that the student who created the list is not in school at this time. As always, our top priority at Richardson is the safety of our students and our staff.
Mrs. Lisa Detig
Mrs. Kim Hassler