Police investigating ‘kill list’ at Warren County elementary school

The list was allegedly made by a 9-year-old.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 9:53 PM EST
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Waynesville police are investigating a so-called “kill list” targeting a student’s classmates at Waynesville Elementary.

Police say a 9-year-old fourth-grader girl created the kill list with several names on it. Several students allegedly reported it to a teacher, who in turn reported it to the police department.

“It makes me scared, scared for my babies and all the other babies that are on there,” said Ashley Burns, parent of multiple students in the school.

Burns says her 10-year-old daughter was on the alleged list.

“This girl has apparently been a bully to my daughter for months now,” she said. “It’s scary. You’ve got to take something like this seriously. The world is a different place now.”

School officials sent an email to parents Wednesday afternoon acknowledging the incident. The email reads in part: “Student safety is our top priority, and we are committed to ensuring that all of our students feel secure and supported while at school.”

Waynesville PD Director of Public Safety Gary Copeland says school officials have conducted a threat assessment that included interviewing the 9-year-old suspect and determining whether her guardians had weapons at their home.

“The child indicated she had no intention of doing any kind of harm to anybody, but precautionary measures have been taken,” Copeland said. “The house does not have any weapons accessible to the child.”

Copeland says they’re working to determine the appropriate punishment, which could include suspension or expulsion.

“If she does return to school, they’re going to take precautionary measures, such as all her backpacks, and any kinds of items she brings to the school, like lunches, and stuff like that, will have to be left at the office,” Copeland said. “She’ll be escorted to and from classes and monitored.”

Burns and other concerned parents like her say there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

“If you believe your child needs help, it’s ok to get help,” she said.

Police say the child will not be allowed back in school until the investigation is complete, which could take weeks.

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