P-S Student Suspended For Making Gun Threats

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A Pine-Strawberry Elementary School student who threatened to harm himself and another student with a gun last week has been suspended.

The threat was made April 11, school principal Kathe Ketchem said.

"We heard about it very quickly, and immediately notified both the Gila County Sheriff's Department and county attorney. An investigation was started the next morning."

A second student also was suspended as a result of the incident, Ketchem said, due to "some additional statements" the student is alleged to have made "which led to an intimidating and threatening atmosphere on campus."

Because the case remains under investigation and both of the students' rights are protected by Federal Educational Rights of Privacy Act, Ketchem wouldn't discuss any other details.

To determine what had happened, she said, authorities had to piece together information provided by "a lot of children" during interviews.

"That's why we didn't notify parents of the incident until the following Tuesday morning," she said. "We couldn't put a school safety notice out until we knew what was going on."

While investigators removed an undisclosed number of guns from the home of the student who made the threat, "there were never any guns on campus," Ketchem said. "There was no threat to the entire student body or the campus as a whole. All precautionary measures were taken to ensure that there is no threat to the students or the school itself."

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