San Tan Valley, AZ. Good morning, parents and staff. This is Dana Hawman, Director of Public Relations for Florence Unified School District calling about a “hit list” involving students and a teacher at Poston Butte High School and Walker Butte K-8. We are sending this message district-wide, as the current environment virtually assures that the story will be picked up by the media, and we want you to have the facts up front.
Late last evening, a parent contacted Dr. Pappalardo and Mr. Allee by email, notifying them of a hit list that two students had posted on Instagram.
Nine students who attend Poston Butte or Walker Butte and one teacher from Poston Butte were on the list; one of the students who created the list attends Poston Butte and the other is a student at Walker Butte.
Administrators met with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department very early this morning and sheriff’s deputies are actively involved. Parents of all students concerned, those who created the list and those who were on it, have been or are currently being contacted. Both initiators are already being questioned by deputies.
Neither student has a history of disciplinary incidents; however ALL threats are taken very seriously, and both students will be suspended pending a hearing.
We thank the parent who brought this to our attention for her part in keeping all of our children safe.
Story update from PCSO:
PINAL COUNTY, AZ. – On Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 6 a.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Florence Unified School District regarding a “hit list” which was discovered on the internet and reported to them by a parent of one of the students on the list.
The list was created by two female students; an 8th grade student at Walker Butte K-8 and a 10th grade student at Poston Butte High School, and placed on the social media site Instagram. Also on the media site was an icon of a pistol next to the word “hit list.”
Both girls were contacted and interviewed by deputies. The girls, both cheerleaders, told deputies they had created the list to name people they disliked. The girls maintained they had no intentions to do harm to any of the students or the teacher on the list.
The investigation is still underway as deputies continue to talk with people involved in the case. School administrators also continue to assist us with the investigation.
Upon completion of the investigation, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office will likely submit the case to the County Attorney’s Office for charges of Threatening and Intimidating.