A student has apparently admitted making the death threat at Georgia Middle School that was discovered Thursday afternoon.
Officials say on the school’s website that appropriate actions will be taken, but they didn’t specify what those actions might be. There’s also no word on the possibility of criminal charges. However, they do say classes will continue as scheduled on Monday and afterward.
Martin Rabtoy asked us to not show his face as part of this story, but he has a son attending Georgia Middle School. “The child or person wrote on the glass, the mirror or whatever, stating this — is it true? I’d like to know that it’s not,” he said.
He learned about the threat Friday morning when a school staff member called him, but he wished that he and other parents had known about it on Thursday. “Kids need to be safe in school,” he said. “Being afraid to go to school for something like this seems silly, but on the same token, you’ve got to take it seriously.”
Just since the start of last year, threats of violent school attacks — if not actual plots to carry them out — have also surfaced in Fair Haven, Middlebury and Colchester, among other Vermont communities. “Every town that you hear in other states, they say ‘it can’t happen to me’,” Rabtoy said. “You know, you don’t know that.”
He hoped any young people who don’t already know about the potential harm from threats of violence can learn about it from this threat. “You don’t want to have metal detectors in the front of our doors of our school; we don’t have that here,” he said. “I just don’t want it to be a chain-link fence around the school, you know what I mean?”
For an on-camera interview, school staff members referred us to Donald Van Nostrand. He’s the interim superintendent of the Franklin West Supervisory Union, which the school is part of. Van Nostrand was unavailable to meet with us. However, before the revelation that a student has admitted to making the threat, he emailed us the following statement:
“The principals learned of some writing on the wall with a general threat and began an investigation. They have been in close contact with law enforcement while they investigate. Safety is of our highest concern and we take threats very seriously.
Principals sent appropriate messages to families as they gained information. We will continue to inform families as much as we can while we investigate and at the conclusion.”