Parents protesting outside Tidwell Middle School in Roanoke, Texas, on Monday morning were mad.
“We have a real issue with a child that has threatened the lives of students — not out loud but written. And that’s as much as a threat as an actual action,” parent Jody Wilson said.
The child is a student at the school and the threat she’s talking about is a book he allegedly posted online titled “Killing Children.”
“Everything he uses in the writing is something he can get his hands on at school, like scissors or anything else like that,” Janay Wilson, a student at Tidwell, explained. “And it’s just scary to know that he has that capability.”
But the scariest thing for these parents is that the student reportedly talks about killing specific children — his classmates. And in graphic details. Parents who’ve read the book say he writes how he’s going to kill them and he uses their names.
“My son was mentioned in the story, first and last name,” parent Jennifer Taylor said. “And he came home one day and showed us this website and told us that he was scared to go to school the next day.”
He isn’t the only one who’s scared. 107 students were absent Monday.
“I’m keeping my daughter at home ‘cause of the certain situation at Tidwell Middle School. I don’t feel it’s safe for her,” explained Cindy Copeland.
These protesting parents are demanding action. They want the school to expel the student who wrote “Killing Children,” but school officials say they can’t legally do that.
“Is this a document written by a student that is protected by free speech or is this a document written by a student that rises to the level of a criminal defense? And that is something law enforcement must determine,” said Northwest ISD Superintendent Karen Rue.
The Denton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
Meanwhile, the student’s father issued a statement saying his son was “encouraged to write,” that he was evaluated for two weeks and then released and that “he has no intention of harming anyone.”
“We don’t want to wait until a Columbine-sized disaster happens in order for action to be taken,” one parent said.