orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

January 30, 2013

‘Hit lists’ surface at two local schools

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGEFIELD — One Orange County high school student has been suspended and another student at a middle school arrested following the discovery of what authorities say are two separate “hit lists.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office later received a call from the assistant principal of Orangefield High School at approximately 4:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 28, pertaining to the discovery of a “hit list,” which was found inside the restroom of the school.

Investigators, who stated this “list” contained the names of several students, conducted an investigation and were able to ascertain the author of the “hit list,” another student of the school. The unidentified 15-year-old student confessed to writing the list but said it was only a prank and was never planning to follow through on the threats.

“Aside from what happens with the authorities, this will all be handled under the student code of conduct,” said Dr. Stephen Patterson, Orangefield ISD superintendent. “The incident happened on Monday, after school, so we had extra security on campus on Tuesday and Wednesday as a precaution. The safety of our students is always a top concern.”

On Wednesday morning, the assistant principal of Mauriceville Middle School contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Office about the discovery of a “hit list” inside a classroom at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Authorities were able to identify the author of the list, a 12-year-old student, who confessed to writing the note which contained the names of several students.

The child told authorities the list was created because the people named on the list had been picking on the student. The child was arrested for terroristic threats and transported to the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center in Beaumont. The student was also suspended from school.

“The district will not tolerate this type of action from any of our students,” said Sherry Combs, director of community relations for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District. “We have a disciplinary system in place, and the district will follow that in this matter.

“We contacted the parents of the students involved, and informed them of the situation,” she added. “The safety of our students is always a top priority.”

Authorities contacted the parent or parents of each child named on the “lists” at each school and advised them of the situation.

Administrators suspended each the students from school. Authorities said charges are pending against the teenager involved at Orangefield High School.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has been providing extra patrols following both incidents on Wednesday, and has also been conducting walk-throughs of all schools in Orange County making sure that the school and students are safe. 

Both cases remains under investigation.