by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG – A second grade male student at Peakview Elementary School was suspended for 10 days late last week for reportedly sending a threatening note to an 8-year old female classmate.
The girl’s father, whom we will not name due to the fact it could lead to the identification of his child, came to the Huerfano World Journal on Friday and reported the incident.
The man said he was upset with the school administration because he was not notified by them of the incident and only learned of it when his daughter came home and told him about it.
RE-1 School Superintendent Dawn Olson told us Friday afternoon the district ‘takes these matters very seriously’ and that she was looking into the timeline of the incident and whether or not the parent was notified during the school day.
Due to privacy issues, Olson could not comment directly to the particular incident although she did confirm the male student involved in the allegation has received a 10-day suspension. She also said she had spoken to the girl’s father on two separate occasions on Fri., Oct. 18.
The girl’s father said his child immediately reported the note to her teacher when she received it during computer class. The father said other children told his daughter the boy had a knife, but allegedly when school officials searched him, no knife was found. Olson could not confirm this part of the story due to privacy issues.
The father told the us he had spoken with a police officer at the Walsenburg Police Department and the officer told him there was nothing they could do because of the age of the children involved.
The cut off for charging a juvenile with a crime is 10-years in Colorado, according to Walsenburg Police Chief James Chamberlain. He said if a child under that age were suspected of a serious, violent crime, the case would be referred to the local department of social services, and then would enter the juvenile justice system through the district attorney’s office and a ruling would be made by the courts regarding how the case would be handled.
On Monday Chamberlain said the officer the father spoke with initially did not make a report of the incident.
He said this was a mistake on the officer’s part, whether or not the child suspected of writing the threatening note was age 10 or above or not.
Chamberlain said, “ we still need to do a report. The case has been assigned to an on-duty officer today (Mon., Nov. 21) and a follow-up investigation will be done.”
Chamberlain also said he had received a confirmation fax Monday from ‘Safe to Tell’, a program administered by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, indicating the victim’s family or the school district had reported the incident.
“Safe to Tell, is a program administered by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office that accepts anonymous reports of any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community”, says the organization’s website. As of March 2011, there have been over 9,750 information and educational calls, with 3,596 Safe2Tell® reports resulting in investigation, early intervention and prevention. Of those 3,596 reports, there have been calls from 163 cities and 59 counties throughout the state of Colorado. Safe2Tell® reports are investigated by school officials and law enforcement.
The girl’s father provided the HWJ with a copy of the letter she received. It is printed below as written.
I wish you were Ded and even your freinds so you will die some day even if you tell your mom (child’s name deleted) you can’t take me dow’n you fight me at reses agen or get AWAY from us or we kill you so make you chose little (child’s name deleted) if you fight me at reses I will kill you so you will be DeD when its reses OK Die or get bet up little (child’s name deleted) so you are DeD bedduse I am going to get A pes of glass and kill you so come on (child’s name deleted) bring it and (expletive deleted) you Bich if you Dam bich you suck mucynas oo bich (expletive deleted) you (expletive deleted)
The father of the girl said to his knowledge there had been no problem between the two children and the content of the letter, its multiple references to killing and death were very upsetting to him, the entire family as well as his child.
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