Mother speaks out about Oakdale Middle School student's arrest and expulsion

Mother speaks out about Oakdale Middle School student's arrest and expulsion
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

OAKDALE, LA (KPLC) - Threats were made at dozens of Louisiana Schools last week leading to the arrest of several students, but the parent of one of the accused is speaking out.

The mother of the Oakdale Middle School student who was arrested, and now expelled spoke to 7News  saying things are not what they seem.

She says no evidence was found and wants the charges against her daughter dropped.

"When it was all said and done there was never a threat made," said mother Gina Gobert.

Gobert's daughter was arrested and later expelled from Oakdale Middle School because of alleged threats the student says she never made.

"She did make a comment speaking to a group of kids that she hoped nobody comes and shoots up our school, and it went from there," said Gobert.

Principal Jarrett Granger released this statement to 7News saying:

"We have 350 students in our care here at Oakdale Middle. That's not including the entire staff of teachers and support staff. If we include the high school and elementary there are a total of approximately 1300 students that attend schools in our community. As the principal of Oakdale Middle School I am responsible for many things, but none more important than the safety of the students. The student's parents and community are counting on us to protect and educate their children. On February 20th a group of students informed me of another student telling them about a threat she received via social media the night before saying all three schools were going to be harmed the next day. Considering the recent events at schools across the nation, I did not feel that any information should be ignored. I acted on this information to protect all the students in Oakdale. We began interviewing the student in question and found that the information was false, and there was never really actually a threat that was received."

Stepmother Sonya Evans says the girl's phone was at home when everything was occurring at school though.

"I checked her phone there was no messages on her phone stating that anybody was coming to the school to harm students," said Evans. "There was no Snapchat, no nothing."

The 12-year-old was arrested, and charged with terrorizing. Police say they are still investigating, and looking for those alleged threats on social media.

"You had several students going to teachers,(and) teachers going to administration so you interrupted that school with these threats," said police chief Joseph Lockett.

Gobert believes bullying played a role in all of this. She says some of the children that reported her daughter to the principal, were bullying her weeks prior and claims nothing was done.

Gobert believes the situation was handled poorly.

"I feel that they overreacted," she said. "I understand taking it serious, but there was no threat. There was no threat at all, and she's still being charged with terrorism, and I don't think that that's right. She still was arrested and I don't think that that's right."

Gobert says she reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union in Alexandria in hopes it will take on her daughter's case.

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