An Alabama high school principal has been placed on leave after it was discovered that he neglected a crucial sign that could have resulted in a massacre if not for the swift intervention of school resource officers and the police.
It was discovered that the principal had knowledge that a student had written a “death notebook” last year that listed 37 classmates he allegedly wanted to kill, but the principal kept quiet and didn’t report it to the police.
The disturbing notebook, which authorities said was inspired by the Japanese anime and live-action Netflix drama “Death Note,” was only made known to police and school resource officers last week after they began looking into claims that the same Hewitt-Trussville High School student had threatened someone verbally on September 16.
Officers discovered during the investigation that Principal Tim Salem, a teacher and a counselor had all been aware of the alarming notebook for nearly a year after it was discovered last October.
Salem was then placed on administrative leave on Tuesday after outraged parents claimed the school was endangering their children by failing to handle the notebook incident properly and notify them at the time.
One angry mom, Jessie Odell, exclaimed, “I don’t feel safe in our educational system.” “We don’t want a Columbine to happen.”
The Alabama high school principal ‘s negligence could have triggered a massacre if not for the swift move of school resource officers and the police who discovered the “Dead Note” list.
The notebook in question allegedly contains instructions on how to murder 37 kids along with their names.
According to Trussville City Schools Superintendent Pattie Neill, the notebook was inspired by the Netflix series “Death Note,” in which a person can supernaturally bring about someone’s death by imagining it to happen.
For instance, the person in the notebook might be devoured by ants, hit by a bus, hit by a ladder, drown, be shot, etc.
“The principal and counselor decided at that time that the notebook was fantasy and no more action was necessary other than to confiscate the book and monitor the student’s behavior based on the information given.”
According to the superintendent, Salem has admitted that it was a mistake to not have the school resource officer conduct a threat assessment when the notebook was first found.
Neill stated that the threat assessment methodology should have been fully executed had the SRO and central office administration been informed of the book and TV series.
“We recognize the worries and disappointment of parents, and we are committed to making improvements. Safety in schools remains our top priority.”
Following the investigation, Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat stated on Tuesday that the accused kid allegedly admitted to making threatening comments “at least 30 separate times” in front of classmates.
After the most recent alleged threat, police searched the student’s house, but they only discovered his father’s handgun.
Following the threat on September 16, the student was placed on suspension and is now seeing a counselor.
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