Florence 8th-grader found with list of students, teachers he 'wished harm upon'


by Tess Rafols

Bio | Email | Follow: @Tess3TV


Posted on February 7, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 10 at 9:57 AM

Map: Anthem K-8 School

View larger map

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- There were scary moments at a Florence school Thursday afternoon after a possible threat against some students and teachers was discovered.

An eighth-grade student at Anthem K-8 School texted a few students saying he wanted to kill himself. Those students went to staff members.

The principal questioned the student and found a list of about a dozen students and teachers "whom he wished harm upon, not that he necessarily wanted to hurt," said Chief Daniel Hughes with the Florence Police Department.

"We were able to identify a problem and address it before it festered and before it became a major issue, where people were actually hurt," Florence Unified School Distrist spokesman John Schreur said.

Hughes went to the school Friday morning to talk to worried parents.

Two books that Hughes said referred to suicide were found in the eighth-grader's backpack, along with the list. One of them is titled "Death Note" and follows the story of a teenager who finds a notebook with names of people who die.

"Parents need to know what their kids are reading because a lot of it is inappropriate," Hughes said.

Schreur agreed, calling the reading material, "a cry for help."

Parents received a voicemail notifying them about the incident Thursday.

At this time, the student is under mental health evaluation.

"It's kind of scary; lots of things happen in schools," parent Lisa McGuiness said. "I'm glad he was able to get some help and I'm glad that whoever found out about the threat was able to make sure it went through the proper channels."

Police have not yet determined whether the student will face charges.