Finley student accused of writing 'Death List'

Finley student accused of writing 'Death List'
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- KEPR learned a student from Finley Middle School was expelled on an emergency basis Thursday after a "death list" was found on Wednesday.

KEPR spoke to Superintendent Lance Hahn. He confirmed the student is a 13-year-old female in seventh grader. Hahn says a fellow classmate learned about the handwritten list that names 50 students and staff members, and then alerted an administrator. The following day, the student was removed from class and the Benton County Sheriff's Department was called. Benton County Sheriff's Department confirmed on Thursday afternoon the student was being held in the Juvenile Justice Center. Hahn would not confirm any names on the list or where the handwritten list was found, only to say it was located on campus.

Hahn said there was no disruption to the school day Wednesday or Thursday. Hahn says the situation was, "handled" and "students are safe."

The district sent a pre-recorded message to all families within the entire school district alerting them to the situation. Hahn said a number of concerned parents have called seeking more information.

KEPR talked with two parents on Thursday that said they were "shocked and scared." Mother of a middle school student, Crystal Stiles, said she was glad the school alerted families. "Even if my kid is not on the list, and I don't know if he is or isn't, I would want to know that a situation happened here," she said.

Thursday afternoon the Finley School District released this statement: The Finley Middle School Administration and Benton County Sheriff's Department are working on a discipline situation that recently arose. On Wednesday, March 6, a report of a threat was brought to the middle school administration.

After investigation, a handwritten list entitled "Death List" was discovered on the middle school campus. Approximately 50 student and staff names were on the list. All students on this list and their parents are being contacted personally by the school. The student who wrote the list is being detained at the Benton County Juvenile Justice Center and has been emergency expelled from the school environment until further notice. The immediate expulsion of this student assures that there is no threat to the Finley Middle School student body.

Mr. Mike Harrington, Principal at Finley Middle School, is asking students to refrain from engaging in social networking (Facebook/Twitter, etc.) and conversations related to this issue, as it is now a police matter.

"On behalf of Finley Middle School, I want to ensure parents that every precaution is being taken to ensure their children's safety," said Principal Harrington.

According to Benton County Sheriff's Department and Finley School District Administration, there is no current danger to Finley students. The district appreciates parent and community support in keeping students calm and limiting any involvement in this issue.