Parents question delayed notification of shooting threat
Posted at: 09/21/2012 9:37 PM
| Updated at: 09/21/2012 10:19 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Two Tony Hillerman Middle School students are accused of plotting a shooting spree.
Albuquerque Public School officials said the threat was brought to their attention Wednesday and the students were suspended.
But now parents are questioning why they didn't find out about the incident until Friday morning.
As soon as school officials got word of the shooting plot, Albuquerque Public Schools Police, Albuquerque Police and mental health counselors all got involved, school officials said.
Parents were then notified after their investigation was complete - two days later.
"It's a good school, I'm not going to put the school down," Lorraine Silva, a concerned parent, said. "My concern only now is that this occurred on Wednesday, and we're just finding out today."
For the past two days, Silva had been dropping off her 7th grade son at Tony Hillerman without the least bit of knowledge there was an investigation into an alleged threat.
According to the police report, two 12-year-old boys admitted planning to shoot-up the school on December 12th and then kill themselves.
"I can't imagine a 12-year-old even making a plan like that," Daina Martiny, another concerned parent, said.
Martiny's reaction was shared among other parents, who received a message on their phones Friday morning directing them to pick up a letter explaining what happened.
"When we really weighed our options, we decided that students and parents have the right to know," Monica Armenta, a spokesperson for Albuquerque Public Schools, said.
"On Wednesday, it was brought to the attention of Tony Hillerman administrators that there was a threat by two sixth grade boys to harm themselves and others at the school," the letter reads. "We spoke with one of the boys on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. The threat was deemed to be credible and that is the reason for this letter."
"We weren't able to bring this to media and the public until (Friday) because the second interview and threat assessment had not been completed until (Thursday)," Armenta said. "We then talked with staff and students, we contacted media, we let the mayor's office know we've talked with the chief of police, we've done everything we possibly can to make sure people understand that when we talk about transparency, it's not just a word."
Armenta said both students could face expulsion, and the case will be sent to the 2nd Judicial District Attorney's Office to determine if the boys could face charges.
While the school District said it believes the threat no longer exists, KOB Eyewitness News 4 is told there will be extra security in schools on Dec. 12th.