Parents & students speak out regarding recent threat made to Tri-County Schools

Following a social media-related threat made by a student on March 21, parents, students and community members came out to address the Tri-County Area School Board during their regular meeting on March 27 at the District Office.

The first person who requested to speak during the public form was the father of the student who made the post on Snapchat. “By no means do my wife and I condone what he did,” he said. 

The father went on to state that those who know his son know he isn’t that kind of kid. “He was in the store that night with some more kids and they got to talking and for some reason he thought it would be funny. Is it funny? No, it’s not,” he said.

The father went on to read a letter his son wrote in order to address the school board as well as the parents and students in attendance: 

“I would like to say I am very sorry for what I posted on Snapchat. It was not my intention to scare or alarm people. I regret the decision that I made that night. I am willing to accept any punishment that you guys see fit and give me. But, if you don’t mind, I would like to say a few things first: 

“I would like to apologize to all the parents and the kids that I scared with my post, it was not my intention. I have heard everyone’s opinion of me on Facebook, some of the things they said were not true, I have never ever threatened to shoot up the school. I was called a lot of names by parents that don’t even know me, which I understood why they said what they said. These last couple weeks have been the hardest of my life. 

“I have never been arrested, never been in the back of a cop car, never had handcuffs on me before, it was a surreal moment for me. I’ve made an apology to my mom and dad, my brother and my sister and my grandparents. I have got to go to court and see the judge and I will make an apology there also. Once again, I am so sorry for what I did. The only thing I am asking is that you please don’t let this ruin my future. It is my intention this summer to join the Navy and, then after high school, start my military career. 

“To my classmates, once again, I am truly, truly sorry. To the parents of Tri-County, once again, I am truly sorry.”

After reading his son’s letter, the parent went on to state that he had spoken to 7-12 Principal Nicholas Marti and said “whatever needed to be done we would stand behind the school board’s decision.”

During further discussion with the board, Monica Baillod, a resident of Plainfield and parent of two students at Tri-County Schools, raised her concerns she had regarding bullying at the school as well as how the District is addressing the safety of the students. 

After Baillod expressed her opinions on bullying and cellphone usage in class, Plainfield Police Chief Kevin Fenske stated, “I listen to the bullying thing and I am not going to disagree that it doesn’t go on, but what always upsets me is that I am in that building four days a week. Nobody ever comes to me.

“The two or three cases that have come to me, it stopped. But nobody ever comes to me. I am there four days a week, somedays five days a week. But nobody ever comes to me. So, that is why I get frustrated. That is why I am over here shaking my head. Nobody comes to me.”

Baillod expressed that having a school liaison officer at the school five days a week would be amazing, however, she did ask the board what they are doing in regards to the budget and how they are looking to deter situations like the one that was presented.

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