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Tue, Oct. 15

YCSO arrests four area students in unrelated threats

By Art Merrill

Prescott Valley Tribune

On Thursday, March 8, Yavapai County deputies arrested a 12-year-old Bradshaw Mountain Middle School student at his home when other students reported he threatened to "bring a gun to school and shoot his teacher in the head," according YCSO spokesperson Cathy Porteous.

"In the presence of his mother, (the student) advised officers he made the comments because the teacher had given him a 'zero' for the hour," Porteous said.

YCSO charged the student with misdemeanor threats and intimidation and booked him into juvenile detention.

The student attends a segregated class for children with emotional disorders, according to Humboldt Unified School District Special Services Director Kay Turner. Such comments by "E.D." students are not necessarily uncommon, she said, but the school district must take them seriously.

"We take every threat very seriously," Turner said.

Students identified with emotional disorders fall under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

"We follow all the procedures required by federal law, we do everything we're allowed to ensure the students and teachers will be safe," Turner said.

Unlike rules for non-disabled students, IDEA permits schools to remove E.D. students from the campus without first requiring a school board disciplinary hearing, but the school must still provide education in an "alternative setting."

Turner said the child's parents have cooperated in removing the student from the school for placement elsewhere. Turner said privacy laws do not permit her to say where the child will now attend school.

"But he will not be coming back to Bradshaw for the rest of the year," she said. "That may be moot because the juvenile system has him, and we don't know what they will do with him."

The child was already on probation, Porteous said.

Only days before the BMMS incident, deputies arrested an 18-year-old senior at Bagdad High School, on Monday, March 5 for comments scrawled on his AIMS test sheet, according to YCSO Lt. Andy Bacon.

"He had written several statements that dealt with killing, cannibalism, arson, and other disturbing comments," he said. "These statements appear to be directed toward the local school board."

Deputies booked the student into YCSO jail on felony charges of interference with or disruption of an educational institution, with bond set at $5,000. The County Attorney's office reduced the charges to misdemeanors; the student is out on bond and awaiting arraignment, Bacon said.

On Wednesday, March 7, Prescott police booked into juvenile detention two Granite Mountain Middle School students. The 12- and 14-year-old boys, independent of each other, threatened to bring guns to school. Fellow students reported the boys' threats to adults.

(Email Art Merrill at amerrill@prescottaz.com)

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