Parents say school isn't doing enough to protect kids from threat

SHERWOOD, Ore. - Two families with kids at a Sherwood school say a student's threats against their children went largely ignored and they are now taking legal action.

They believe these threats were taking place at Sherwood Charter School and are putting the safety of all the students in jeopardy.

In one case, a set of parents says the child said he was going to kill their son then later proceeded to stab that boy with a pencil. In another incident, the same child's accused of telling a girl student, he was going to rape her.

The parents at the Sherwood Charter School alleging these things are frustrated enough they've hired an attorney.

"How many times have we witnessed tragedies at schools across this country - Columbine, Sandy Hook, Thurston High School here in Oregon - where after the fact it is discovered that the student responsible for the tragedies had made threats of violence against fellow students, or against the school as a whole," wrote attorney Ross Day in a letter to the superintendent of the school district and chair of the school board.

In his letter, Day says that some parents were told the child who is allegedly making the threats has a disability and the school can't discipline the child. But Day argues that if the child is a "clear and present danger to his fellow students" action can be taken regardless if he has special needs.

The parents are demanding the Sherwood School Board take action to protect students and staff from a known danger.

In both instances, the families with the students, who felt threatened, have taken their kids out of the school.

They're upset the child in question remains a student there.

"At first I thought my son was embellishing, because adolescent boys sometimes embellish their stories, but when I went to go pick up my children from school, I saw that child in question stomping violently and angrily toward two female students, confronting them, saying he was going to punch them in the face," said one of the parents alleging the threats are being made and who didn't want his identity revealed. "He was red in the face. (He) meant what he said."

The parents say the student was kept out of school for three days in November while the school director conducted a threat assessment. But they say neither set of parents was interviewed for that assessment.

A spokesperson for the school district says at this time the district does not have any comment about these allegations. The parents say they're thinking about suing.

The school did release a statement where it said student safety is its No. 1 priority.

"At all times, Sherwood Charter School acted with student safety as a foremost concern, and will continue to do so in the future," said Keith Halasy, who is on the school's board of directors.

The school said it has "appropriately handled student safety and discipline issues."