Threats are increasing, and schools are reacting — or, some say, overreacting.
The 12-year-old girl was surprised when she was ordered to the Voorhees Middle School office last week - and more surprised when she found out why.
Other students had accused her of "threatening to kill everyone," said her mother, South Korean-born Jennifer Um.
For hours, the sixth grader was questioned by school and police officials, then evaluated by a mental-health professional. The allegation was not substantiated and no disciplinary action was taken, the school said.
But the little girl was left "shocked and crying" and did not attend classes for two days, said her mother, who says the family now plans to move.
After the Virginia Tech massacre and the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School bloodbath, edgy school officials across the country are not taking chances, but are wondering how far to go, say national school security experts....
The Voorhees students told school officials that the 12-year-old girl had made a threat. She was summoned to the school office, where police later questioned her.
"Anybody can say bad words; nobody can believe it," said Jennifer Um, 49, who said she believes her daughter was accused because of her race. "At that age, they can be cruel."
She said school officials "treated my daughter like a terrorist. . . . Her only weapons were a pencil and eraser."
Because of the ordeal, Um said, she and her husband plan to sell their house and have enrolled their daughter in a private school in Moorestown.
Irene Afek, the Voorhees school's affirmative-action officer and spokeswoman, said officials did not target the sixth grader because of race and were following the school district's protocol when they investigated the allegations.
"We would do the same thing for any incident of this nature," she said. "Any threat is taken seriously, before or after Virginia Tech. This was not part of any backlash."
Lee said he had heard stories of other young Koreans having recent problems in school - including a Lansdale student who was suspended from school for a week for drawing a bomb.
Etzion Neuer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in New Jersey, said that the ADL had contacted Asian American groups, but that "we haven't heard of any widespread problems." [Link]
Labels: virginia tech
DNSI direct link 0 comments Email post: