Leonard Police have filed felony charges against two teenage Leonard High School students, after the pair was allegedly found last week with a list of “people to kill” that included the names of more that 30 students and staff members.
Leonard ISD Superintendent Brad Maxwell said high school administrators learned of the list on Sept. 26, after a student came forward and told them that images of the list were being circulated among students by either text message or social media. Maxwell said the news reached administrators during the final class period of the day, and because school officials were able to quickly locate the two students, no other students or staff were ever in any immediate danger.
“As soon as he notified them, we were able to identify exactly where that (list) came from and those two students were removed from class immediately, detained and questioned,” Maxwell said. “During that process, they admitted to their part in it and we immediately contacted the Leonard Police Department and sent out information to our parents and families.”
Leonard Police Sgt. Chris Kitts said the two students, whom he estimated to be either 14 or 15 years old, said they only made the list as a joke. Despite their assertion, Kitts said officers searched the students’ homes that night for any weapons which could have been used in an attack, but none were found. Kitts said the two students were ultimately charged with making a terroristic threat — a third-degree felony — but it was unclear as of Friday, whether the two had been arrested by juvenile corrections officials. The two students have not been allowed back on any of the district’s campuses.
“They are not in regular classes and won’t be in regular classes for a while — an undetermined amount of time by the district,” Kitts said.
Maxwell commended the student who came forward and notified school officials. The superintendent said it is crucial that students and families share their concerns or suspicions, as it could prevent a major tragedy from occurring. Kitts said while the students may have only meant the list as a joke, the threat of potential violence was too great to ignore and had to be met with severe consequences.
“We don’t look at any of it as a joke,” Kitts said. “It’s all taken serious — 100 percent serious — by the school district as well as law enforcement. Hopefully every district will handle it that way, not take it as a joking matter and take care of the problem, right then.”