This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A student who just months ago threatened to shoot up his school has been returned to classes there, "putting him in close quarters with the students who had testified against him in court," a new report reveals.
The stunning situation developed in Giles County High School south of Nashville, Tennessee, only three months after three children were killed at a Christian school in the state, according to an investigation by The Daily Wire.
It was in August that students returned to class to find joining them was the boy who 16 months earlier was arrested for, according to court records, having a list of students he intended to kill, having a date picked out, and "running drills," the report said.
His name was not being used by The Daily Wire, which did report his return to school was accompanied immediately by violence, as he punched another child.
Parents were alarmed but got no satisfaction after contacting Supt. Vickie Beard, claimed in an email to Caleb Slagle, whose child was punched, "Tennessee law does not authorize or allow expulsion of students from public schools. Tennessee law does allow suspension of students for a calendar year or up to 180 days for zero-tolerance offenses. Due to constitutional and privacy rights, we cannot discuss specifics."
However, The Daily Wire reported, "None of that is true. The Tennessee School Board Association, which Beard says she consulted, makes clear that 'zero-tolerance offenses require [suspension] for not less than one calendar year' and local school boards may deem any offense a 'zero-tolerance offense.' The longstanding Tennessee code states that regardless of whether an infraction is 'zero-tolerance,' school officials can set a suspension to be any length they want. The ability to expel students is also laid out in state law."
The report said seven of the students who found themselves in classes with the suspect had testified against him last year, detailing his scheming.
Parents raising the alarm about the potential dangers in the situation explained the school told them "to become 'activists'" in a state legislative session during which Democrats were demanding gun control.
"Hannah Riley, whose son testified that he was warned by the would-be shooter not to come to school on a certain date so that he would live, said she and numerous others have pulled their children out of school because they believe their children are sitting ducks. She said the culprit, who The Daily Wire is not naming, disclosed his plan to her child because her child once showed him kindness, and he told authorities," the report said.
Natalie Johnson, whose child was on the hit list, said, "They just told us you need to get in touch with your reps so you can change the law."
The report explained that the state, in fact, already has provided schools with tools to respond to threats of mass violence, such as a system to flag students who pose a threat.
The report noted that Tennessee law requires districts to suspend a student for a year or more for threats of mass violence, and provides no limit on the length of punishment.
The report noted County Executive Graham Stowe explained privately to others the situation was created by a matter of school policy, as, he wrote, "There are no statutes providing any guidance in matters like this, so the decision to retain this student resides w/ the Schools."
The report said the school originally had described the problem as an issue with "some inappropriate comments," when in fact the suspect eventually was charged with five counts of threats of mass violence and harassment. Records of the case resolution, involving a minor, are sealed.
The report also explained the school board stopped parents from raising questions during a meeting, and board members and Beard ignored questions from the publication.
The report said Captain Joe Purvis of the Giles County Sheriff’s Office confirmed resource officers have a need to know when such students are in attendance in a class.
Parents, the report confirmed, are moving their children out of that school.