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Parents upset as teen arrested for making threats returns to school

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:33pm



SOUTH JORDAN — Parents were outraged when a teen recently entered an elementary school with a weapon and allegedly threatened to kill people. Now they are even more concerned after the same teen returned to the school Wednesday and was not forced to leave.

The teen was arrested Thursday after witnesses said he walked into the main office of Eastlake Elementary School shirtless, bloody, carrying sharpened sticks and threatened to "kill people."

"He proceeded to kick and punch the walls and kept saying he needed to murder someone and needed a gun," a witness, Tiffinie McAfee, said at the time.

He also is accused of threatening children on the playground.

The Jordan School District said the teen showed up Wednesday at the school's end-of-the-year party with his mother, who was volunteering at the event.

Mindy Devaney, whose 8-year-old daughter attends Eastlake, said, "It was like a gut wrenching feeling that that teenage boy would be allowed around other children in the exact same environment and setting that he just threatened less than a week ago."


"The young man didn't have any conditions on where he could go, other than he had to be accompanied by his mother or his father."

District spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf said the school followed proper protocol when the teen showed up at the party.

"When staff at the school realized he was with (his mother), they were worried about students being traumatized again. They immediately contacted the principal at the school and then called police," she said.

A resource officer then arrived.

"He said that the young man didn't have any conditions on where he could go, other than he had to be accompanied either by his mother or his father," Riesgraf said.

South Jordan police declined KSL's request for an interview but said the officer was following juvenile court orders which allow the student to go anywhere as long as he is accompanied by a parent.

Some parents still feel more is being done to protect the teen than their children.

The school district is working to reach a solution.

"We're trying to work in conjunction with the parents and with police to reach a decision that everyone is comfortable with and to make sure that this doesn't happen again," said Riesgraf.

She said the district is reviewing its safety procedures and policies. Even with new security measures and doors in place, some parents feel the school could do more to keep their children safe.

"If someone is wanting to do harm they can pass by those (doors) and walk into the school and do harm," one parent said.

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