Carroll pupil suspended after making threats

Police said suicide note had 2 classmates' names

March 17, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

A Carroll County middle school pupil was suspended yesterday after she wrote a suicide note that also listed two classmates she wanted to injure or kill, according to police. It is the second suspension of a student after threatening another since last Thursday.

The middle school pupil, who has not been charged with a crime, has been referred to a counselor at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, police said.

The latest incident follows the arrest Tuesday of a South Carroll High School senior on charges of misdemeanor assault after he was accused of threatening to harm four or five classmates and compiling a "hit list" of those he had planned to kill. He had been suspended from school March 8.

In the wake of that suspension, South Carroll High parents began calling Maryland State Police and the school system Monday, asking about the threats. School officials said Thursday that they will notify police more quickly when such incidents occur.

"The school system has become very concerned about any threat of violence, and now they inform us almost immediately," said Lt. Terry L. Katz, commander of the state police barracks in Westminster. School officials acknowledged that they have seen an increase in reported threats of school violence since the school shooting March 5 in Santee, Calif., in which two students were killed and 13 other people were injured.

"What we're experiencing is kids coming forward and telling us things," said Cynthia Little, Carroll's director of pupil services. "Some of it's rumor, but we're taking each and every one of them seriously." She said most of the reported threats have turned out to be false.

For example, police were called yesterday to investigate a list written by an elementary school pupil at a South Carroll school. After investigating, police decided it was a list of invitations to the pupil's birthday party.

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