Wednesday, April 11, 2007
As rumors swirl about a supposed "hit list" found in a Sunnyside High School bathroom, district officials scrambled today to get out the truth.
Or at least as much of it as they could release.
"That is not accurate," Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole said of rumors that 18 or 20 freshman names were on a list for a "hit" to take place this Friday.
"We have one parent out there who is spreading information that is not accurate," he added.
Cole did confirm there was a list, but noted that the ages and number of students rumored to be on the list are incorrect.
He declined to call it a "hit list". Cole said, "It's a list of students, I don't know what it's for. It's being investigated." He confirmed that the list was found Monday in a high school bathroom.
Because of a police investigation underway earlier today, Cole said he could not release the names or ages of students on the list.
Parents of students on the list were contacted immediately, he noted, and a letter will be sent home today with all students.
Pending results of the investigation, Cole said the high school will have a normal schedule of classes this Friday, but with beefed up security.
The district will bring in plainclothes officers. Lockers and backpacks will be randomly searched. "In this kind of environment we have the authority to check," said Cole.
If there are students found to have generated a list intended to harm others, Cole said they will be "expelled immediately." He added, "We have zero tolerance for this kind of action. We will take it seriously."
At press time, Cole said he thought police nearly had the investigation wrapped up, but that they wanted to "cross every t" before releasing additional information.