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Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

3 more suspended for threats

Copycat trend seen at Lawrence schools, administrator says

April 12, 2001

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Threats at Lawrence public schools have become a copycat trend.

Officials on Wednesday said three more students, including a third-grader, have been suspended for threatening behavior.

In all, six Lawrence students have been suspended or expelled within the past two weeks for writing or expressing threats at Cordley School; Southwest, Central and South junior high schools; and Free State High School.

"We want to work with the families and get whatever support and services are needed," said Kim Bodensteiner, Cordley principal.

She suspended a third-grader Wednesday and a sixth-grader Tuesday for writing graffiti with violent content.

Sixteen percent of Cordley's 230 students were absent Wednesday after the word "kill" was found the day before written on the mirror of a girls' rest room at the school, 1837 Vt. A sixth-grader confessed and was suspended for five days.

Bodensteiner said a third-grader admitted writing the same word on a bathroom door Wednesday. That student also was suspended five days, she said.

"It was a copycat," she said. "In both cases, the students were not intending to come to school to do anything."

Both students could be expelled. The age of the students will be taken into account at disciplinary hearings, Bodensteiner said.

Meanwhile, a student at South Junior High School, 2734 La., was taken into custody Tuesday by Lawrence Police for allegedly simulating, with a hand gesture, the shooting of teachers. Russell Blackbird, South's principal, said that student also was suspended.

"He was confrontational with one of the teachers and wouldn't follow directions," Blackbird said. "He pointed his finger at one or two teachers."

Monday, two ninth-grade students at Central Junior High School, 1400 Mass., were suspended from school and arrested by police for allegedly writing threatening graffiti at the school.

The students, one male and one female, face possible expulsion.

A seventh-grader at Southwest Junior High School, 2511 Inverness Drive, was expelled last week for the remainder of the school year for writing a note on a rest-room wall in which she threatened to use a handgun against unidentified people.

Police and school officials continue to investigate a threat at Free State, 4700 Overland Drive.

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