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'Taunted' Whitewater High student charged for gun threats

UPDATED 3:17 p.m. A 16-year-old Whitewater High School student has been charged by sheriff's deputies for making "a series of threats" against other students, officials said.

The student, who has not been named, was charged with two counts of terroristic threats, and has been removed from the school system for a minimum of 10 days by school officials, deputies said. The decision to readmit the student will be up to the Fayette County Board of Education.

The sheriff's press release notes that the school's resource officer, who is an employee of the sheriff's office, became aware of a student's threat "to bring a firearm to school and cause harm to other students."

The charges against the student were filed by the sheriff's office after consulting with the Fayette County District Attorney's office, deputies said.

The initally rumored threat was made while the student was riding a school bus home Tuesday afternoon, said Fayette County schools spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.

When the rumor came to Principal Greg Stillions, he sent the school’s resource officer to the student’s home to inform the student not to ride the bus today and not to come to school, Berry-Dreisbach said.

Even though the threat started as a rumor, school officials have to take all such information seriously, she said.

“Our schools’ policy is we are to investigate it because you never know,” Berry-Dreisbach said. “It could be a legitimate threat. We are going to take it very seriously and it is going to be investigated.”

Parents can take this chance to remind their children of the seriousness of making threats even if one is just joking, she said.

This is also an excellent time to remind students the importance of reporting any threat, “even if you feel like it might be just a joke; you never know, maybe it’s not a joke,” she added.

“It’s a good reminder to kids that making such threats could really jeopardize their futures, and of course it’s not worth that,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

A letter about the matter will be sent home to parents this afternoon, Berry-Driesbach said.

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Comments

An email to the parents would have been great rather than finding out about this situation by reading it in the newspaper. WHS can send out mass emails asking parents to vote for the school to be the fox 5 team of the week or asking us to vote for teachers to receive makeovers, but do not bother to send the parents an email to notify us that there was a threat made concerning the safety of our children. Sending a letter home today is great but if there are means to notify us sooner those means should be used. This is just another incident at WHS that the administration would like to keep quiet, they are really good at that. Why am I surprised?

By the way, the pricipal, whom you obviously abhor, got on the school's PA system and instructed the kids to text and vote for team of the week at the end of each period too. (I hope your kids have unlimited texting.)

Ironically, cell phones are not permitted in schools during school hours.

Regardless, I hardly think the school wanted to keep this quiet. Why would they care? Now the parents of the kid charged might want to keep it quiet... that would make sense. In case it hasn't sunk in to you yet; the public schools are a reflection of the families and parents they 'serve' and NOT the school administration. These are YOUR kids.

To expand on this:

The administration is a reflection of your school board's philosophy and decision making competence/incompetence.

For example, the progressive 'politically correct' thinking of YOUR school board is why over 60% of your administrators in Fayette are female.

In fact, the 'whitest' high school in your county has a 'double minority' principal. She is living 'proof' that your county embraces multiculturalism and is 'politically correct'. After all, they passed over the white, male, Ohio State Graduate, high school teacher/coach that was at Starr's Mill longer than she was even in the county to hire a small time college graduate with a middle school background who has since killed the moral of her teachers and staff. DeCotis didn't become the NAACP man of the year for nothing. He hired a 'double minority' as human resources director as well - just ask ANYONE other than a board member (Eddie Haskell) about her.

Indeed, your wonderful school board (and THEIR hand picked Superintendent) is a progressive, open minded, politically correct group that YOU continue to re-elect despite the please of your teachers.

Next, you can look in to the moral of the teachers at McIntosh ... if you dare!

But I digress ...

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Thanks,
Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

Principal Greg Stillons has a history of turning a blind eye to bullies. He did the same thing at McIntosh, if I recall correctly. Here's another story from the Citizen archives about the results of Stillons do-nothing approach to bullying: <a href="http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/9180/#comment-13779">LINK</a>

And it's always the same refrain: "we got there just in time to stop a shootout, aren't we the bestest?"

Remember the old adage about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure?

Oh yes, I recall the 'super trap' set by Inspector 'Klueso' Stillions. I could use a washing machine with a spin cycle that active.

No sir, I do not mean to defend the actions of Mr. Stillions. I hope I didn't send that signal. I just see so many problems in the Fayette system that it constantly amazes me that the kids perform as well as they do - despite- the multitude of problems from budget to personnel.

Indeed, it is a testament to the high caliber of students and the families they come from that Fayette County schools perform so well.

Between the incompetence of local board and county level administration and the social experimentation that is/has taken place in hiring and promoting in Fayette I would fully expect to see mass exodus by some very talented employees just as soon as the economy gets better and other systems can hire them away.

As for Mr. Stillions, I certainly don't hear anything laudable about him and therefore have nothing positive to repeat. In fact - it's quite the contrary. I can certainly see him attempting some political spin doctoring to try to make a negative situation in to something that might earn him an 'atta-boy'.

I would challenge the new Superintendent to take an accurate but anonymous poll of the current teachers and administrators asking how they feel about the building principals and county office personnel.

I think the results would stun him.

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Thanks,
Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

I am not really sure sending a mass email last night would have helped the situation. I think it would have sent the parents into hysteria and only made this situation more difficult to handle. Mr. Stillions was standing in the front office before school answering any question this mom asked with open honesty. I think he handled a bad situation very well. Two of my children are students at WHS and I felt confident that they were safe all day. Mr. Stillions addressed the incident swiftly and properly. He made certain that the boy making the threats was kept off campus without disrupting the school day for the rest of the students. Next week is exam week and most students needed to be at school getting ready for those exams not cowering at home in fear that a boy was going to kill them if they entered the school. I was on campus all day and never once did I see any student crying or begging to go home. By the end of first period every child at school knew every detail and was comfortable with the way it was being handled.

The only other point I would like to make is that bullying is part of growing up. It is not a principal's responsibility to make sure that certain students do not over react when they are picked on from time to time. Name calling or other verbal bullying does not justify killing. Has our society really become so weak that we are unable to have our feelings hurt occasionally without having a mental melt down. If the kids in this county were allowed to beat the snot out of the elementary age bully when he was acting like a jerk then maybe by the time he reached high school he would not still be such a bully and the kid who was getting picked on would not feel like such a door mat. When we were kids we were allowed to take care of a bully on the playground and I truly believe that when peers are allowed to take care of the problem, the problem does not get so out of control. Fayette county parents are raising some very weak children who are not going to be able to handle the bully in the work place well at all. Ask any kid in a county school what will happen if he hits back when he is hit first. He will tell you both kids will get ISS. Ridiculous! Hit me and I WILL hit you back. Bring a gun to the fight then that's a different story that does need to have the police and principal involved.

Well done today, Mr. Stillions. I know you will never please everyone, but I thought it was very professional of you to step out of your office this morning and answer my questions and understand a mother's concerns. I approve 100% of how you and your staff handled this child's misconduct.

sloopy

"For example, the progressive 'politically correct' thinking of YOUR school board is why over 60% of your administrators in Fayette are female." Will you explain how the fact (I didn't check the data, but I'm assuming this is true) that over 60% of the administrators in Fayette County schools are female is politically correct? I'm just betting that (again, I didn't but probably should, check data) that over 60% of the teachers in the county are female. As a female teacher in this county, I can assure you I have witnessed no favoritism toward females; in fact, I consistently see just the opposite. It appears to me that male teachers are revered and enjoy more tolerance for errors (not to mention their misadventures!) than any of my female colleagues. But, perhaps I have misunderstood your statement.

The 'favored' hardly know when they are the 'favored' my dear friend.

You yourself are claiming to be in the majority in your profession as a female.

You actually have an administrator - a female - who partied with her students at McIntosh and later got a DUI and yet she is still an Administrator at WHS. You had one of each (male/female) resign last year for solicitation of prostitution and the year before that you had a coach fired for sexting a student. So how would that support your contention that <cite>"It appears to me that male teachers are revered and enjoy more tolerance for errors (not to mention their misadventures!) than any of my female colleagues."</cite> By my count that is two men and ONE woman fired- and one women promoted. Hummm... sounds fair to you I guess.

Of the number of employees fired or non-renewed, what percentage do you think are male in your female dominated profession? You might want to look in to that. Have you seen the current list of candidates for Administrative Internships?

Of five - one is male. (The leaves four (80%) as female for you English teachers.)

The last two principals hired for High School were females with Middle School backgrounds hired over male applicants with High School backgrounds.

In fact, the last several principals hired at ALL levels (except for one) were all in fact - female.

The comptroller and the Human Resources director and the food services director (all recent hires at the county level) are all female.

Do you know what percentage of county office personnel is female- you better look!

The fact that your profession is female dominated is hardly a defense for saying that "the girls club" does not exist.

Since your student body and your community is what your administrative demographics SHOULD reflect I fail to see why you attempt justify your female dominated profession and your female dominated administrative trends by claiming without citing examples how <cite>"It appears to me that male teachers are revered and enjoy more tolerance for errors (not to mention their misadventures!) than any of my female colleagues."</cite>

Of course we are all entitled to our opinions and mine is just ONE of many.

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Thanks,
Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

When can we get beyond a strict hiring/promotion policy of making sure the demographic of an organization is represented in its management? Affirmative Action long ago outlived its usefulness and is now doing much more harm than good. How about we just simply hire the best applicant for the position? Or, would that make too much sense!

[quote=ImFedUp]When can we get beyond a strict hiring/promotion policy of making sure the demographic of an organization is represented in its management? Affirmative Action long ago outlived its usefulness and is now doing much more harm than good. How about we just simply hire the best applicant for the position? Or, would that make too much sense![/quote]

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Thanks,
Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

I heard about the threat last night via the teen texting network. I briefly thought about keeping my child home today but I know Whitewater's principal, Greg Stillions, and had confidence that it would be handled and my child would be safe. I have further confidence that not only will the school continue to be safe and a great place of learning, but that the young man in question will get the help he needs. It's my understanding the boy has been bullied.

I admit I checked my email last night to see if the school had sent anything. I realize that kind of communication and action has to be approved at the school board level but an email prior to school today should have been sent to let parents know it was being handled and the school was safe.

[quote=littleoleme]I heard about the threat last night via the teen texting network. I briefly thought about keeping my child home today but I know Whitewater's principal, Greg Stillions, and had confidence that it would be handled and my child would be safe. I have further confidence that not only will the school continue to be safe and a great place of learning, but that the young man in question will get the help he needs. It's my understanding the boy has been bullied.

I admit I checked my email last night to see if the school had sent anything. I realize that kind of communication and action has to be approved at the school board level but an email prior to school today should have been sent to let parents know it was being handled and the school was safe.[/quote]

Like I said- damned if you do damned if you don't. Another clueless testimony for the status quo. <strong>Thanks for chiming in Mrs. Stillions.</strong>

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Thanks,
Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

Apparently the boy's girlfriend broke up with him Tuesday.

I completely agree that parents should have received notification of this incident prior to school today (Wed.). Here I am at work, husband out of town and I receive a frantic call from my child asking to come home because of the fear that the student who made the alleged threat is somewhere in the building. The kids are all hanging out in the commons area waiting for school to begin, listening to all kinds of information/misinformation. What a mess.Some kids were in tears, terrified. All parents should have immediately received an email notification of what exactly happened, and what precautions were in place for the following day.

No disrespect to your child, but I was in the commons area this morning and there was no terror in the area. The kids were laughing and talking as they do every morning. The subject of "the incident" was a hot topic, but I did not see any child crying or acting scared. The only drama today came from girls who have a flair for the dramatic and were enjoying the excitement! For the most part today went as any other school day and I think that is a good thing. There was no panic stricken mass of students begging to be taken home. I am truly sorry if your daughter was scared, but from what I saw today with my own two eyes, she was definitely in the minority. Most of the students voiced an opinion of the boy's true intentions, speculated on whether he would have followed through with his threats, and then buckled down and started getting ready for next week's finals.

sloopy

You did not read my post clearly. I never suggested there was any kind of mass hysteria. Kids WERE scared. A flair for the dramatic? This incident should not be trivialized.

It is getting a little "old" when everytime a stupid occurence happens at school, or nearly anywhere, people come out of the woodwork to gripe to the TV people or to newspapers!

They usually are saying I want something for my troubles--how much you got?
These kids are scared to death by their parents at home with all of the shouting, complaining, and "visitors."

I'll bet I have seen 1 hundred in the last year on TV saying, "I ain't got nuthin left, it all went up wif that far! I nede hep now. I couldn't hep it if thet dope feind lit a far in the floor. He bein sellin hit fer munths thar.

Im a student at whitewater and i really would like to know . why werent our parents emailed or called or something to let them know what in the world is going on?

While I fully understand that nobody will ever make a movie about any of the teachers or faculty at any Fayette County school, at one point do they wonder what exactly is going on at Whitewater?

This student made a pretty serious threat after school ended on Tuesday.

The School heard the rumour and got the Sheriff's Department involved.

The Sheriff's Department talked to the student Tuesday night.

The School told the student Tuesday night not to come back to the School until the complaint was investigated.

I understand reliably that the Sheriff's Department tracked the student making the threats so that he could not come to school. Was my son the only one who saw the 10-15 Deputies at the school wednesday afternoon?

Wednesday morning, after sorting through second hand, third hand, fourth hand rumours to find some one who had first hand information on the complaint, the Sheriff's Department charged the student with crimes and he won't be back at school until this is resolved.

Note this Georgia Law, particularly the last sentence...

Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-11-37

(a) A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence, to release any hazardous substance, as such term is defined in Code Section 12-8-92, or to burn or damage property with the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. <strong> No person shall be convicted under this subsection on the uncorroborated testimony of the party to whom the threat is communicated.

It sounds like that once the <STRONG> FACTS were discovered, the School and Sheriff's Department made the information known via the press and a letter home to the parents today.

<strong> Thank you Whitewater High School Administration and Fayette County Sheriff's Department for doing a great job protecting my son, ensuring that our rights (the student as well as our), and letting us know what happend when you could confirm it and for NOT CONTRIBUTING TO MASS HYSTERIA AND PANIC.

Silence Dogood

I might not be right, but I won't be ugly about it.

Dondol's picture

What exactly have you done about the little snots that were doing the Bullying? Probably the same thing they do a McIntosh, Nothing! My son had a problem with Bullying and I went to school to talk with them about it but nothing was done because the kid doing the bullying was the State School Superintendent's kid.
I told my son that I didn't care if he got 3 days ISS, if the kid kept it up to
punch him square between the eyes. It did happened again off of school grounds this time, so no ISS but it stopped the bullying. If our wonderful BOE would let these kids take care of these bullies themselves all of this crap would stop. If this happens to your kid go to school and try to have them do something, you'll feel like your talking to a brick wall.

punch'em right square in the nose.

there is nothing about "taunting" in the body of the article--what gives??

[quote=AtHomeGym]there is nothing about "taunting" in the body of the article--what gives??[/quote]

read here:

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/12-09-2010/attorney-says-bullies-fabr...

I am a student at this school and the person in question was not even at school Tuesday so i don't understand how they could have said any of this. also I ride the same bus as this student and never herd anything like this ever from him so you are all wrong

Folks knew to FEAR the call to the Office. It didn't mean they were handing out candy, or calling Mommy and Daddy...

Jesus you are one angry dude. You need to chill that all caps out before you have an aneurysm.

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