Medford parents rattled over school's response to 'kill list' - KMSP-TV

Medford parents rattled over school's response to 'kill list'

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Just one day after a kindergartner brought a gun to school in Benson, Minn., a chilling discovery was made at yet another Minnesota school that has parents feeling worried and angry over the district's handling.

The upset began last week after a student in Medford, Minn., learned he was on a "kill list" or "hate list." The school district learned two middle school students were behind the lists and notified the students that were named and their parents -- but a lot of other parents say they should have gotten word too.

Dozens of Medford students were named in the list authored by the two students, but parents repeatedly told Fox 9 News they did not know about the incident until they heard about it from their children or read about it on Facebook.

"For parents to go on a site like Facebook and find out there, it just kind of makes you go, 'What's going on?'" Patrick Greason said. "Something like this, they should have brought to everyone's attention."

The superintendent declined to talk to Fox 9 News on camera, but he did say that the authors of the list were extremely remorseful and concerned about the people on the lists. As to what will happen to the students responsible, he wouldn't say other than to confirm they were disciplined. Several sources tell Fox 9 News that the students were given short-term suspensions; however, the district would not verify that information.

"We should have been made aware of what the decision was," Lisa Ernste insisted.

Parents who spoke with Fox 9 News said they couldn't help but notice what happened just last week in Waseca, Minn., where two alert citizens foiled an attack on the school.


FROM THE FOX 9 ARCHIVE

May 3, 2014: Waseca community seeks answers, safety after foiled school attack
May 1, 2014: Waseca teen's notebook reveals plot to murder family, attack schools
April 20, 2014: Teen arrested after explosives found on Waseca school playground


"I think with what happened over in Waseca, knowledge is power," Ernste said.

Most parents say they trust the school and police when they say what happened in Medford involved words and only words, but as the mother of one boy on the list told Fox 9 News, she'd like to know why.

Medford schools do have a no-tolerance policy on threats, but they also have progressive discipline practices that are based on a variety of factors.

Yet, many parents who spoke with Fox 9 News admitted that they feared retaliation and would only speak anonymously on the issue.

A county attorney representative told Fox 9 News that their office has not received any documents from police. However, sources tell Fox 9 News that charges are unlikely if the students did not intend any harm.

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