Student made threat at Rio Rancho school | KOB 4

Student made threat at Rio Rancho school

Brittany Costello
Created: November 08, 2019 10:07 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A Rio Rancho family is outraged after hearing about a shooting threat from their 10-year-old child.

Parents at Stapleton Elementary School said the threat happened on the playground this week. School officials said they've handled it, but no notices were sent out to other families.


Now, some parents are concerned it's not being taken seriously.

“[The student] specifically said the make and model and he was going to bring it to school and kill him and the rest of the kids,” said a parent of a fifth grade student at the school.

Her son was at recess when another fifth grade student threatened to bring a gun to school to shoot the other students.

The mother did not want to be identified but said it's a threat that should have warranted an email to all Stapleton families.

“The first thing I was told was that it was not a real threat, it was just kids mouthing off,” she said. "I’m sorry, this day in age you can’t take anything lightly.”

Rio Rancho Public Schools confirmed a threat was made. The district sent KOB 4 the following statement:

“Unfortunately, I cannot speak directly to student issues or particulars in regards to a student discipline. I will confirm that we did have a student make a verbal threat towards another student and that appropriate actions were taken.  It is important to note that there were no guns or actual weapons involved. If at any time we felt there was a concern to student safety, parents would have been notified immediately. Tragedies at schools have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students and I can assure you that every threat is taken very seriously and designated threat and safety protocols are followed.” -Beth Pendergrass, Chief Communications, Strategy and Engagement Officer for Rio Rancho Public Schools

The mother who spoke to KOB 4 said the student in question has to returned to class.

“You’re putting that whole school in harm’s way based on one child. That is a serious offense he should be made an example of,” she said.

Rio Rancho police officials said they were called out to the school. They sent KOB 4 the following statement: 

“It is our goal to ensure the safety and well-being of the people in our communities. With that goal in mind, we take all threats of violence seriously, especially those made at or about a school. On November 6, 2019, our Department responded to a report of a verbal threat at Stapleton Elementary in Rio Rancho. As part of our response and investigation, we ensured that there was no danger to anyone involved. Without addressing the specifics, we worked together with Rio Rancho Public Schools to ensure the safety of the students and staff at the school. A report of the incident was completed. The primary threat included a firearm; however, we have determined that the threat was expressed verbally and no weapon was involved. We will continue to work with the school and our officers to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

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