October 4, 2006
Reported By: Lee Peck
Hours before school let out Wednesday, parents started checking their students out of class at Oberlin High School. They were reacting to threats of a school shooting.
"A student who was new to our student body made a threatening comment that was serious," said Allen Parish School Superintendent Mike Doucet. Doucet says the 16-year-old freshman male student had been at the school less than a week before threatening to bring a gun to school and kill another student. This comes after three other school shootings last week. Doucet says they are taking these threats seriously. "The student is not in school. He has been suspended indefinitely and then there will be an expulsion hearing and that will decide his future," said Doucet.
In the meantime, the small community is not taking their chances. Oberlin Police and Allen Parish Sheriff's deputies are now on security detail at the school. "Some of my people and the sheriff's people were here this morning before 7 o'clock to patrol," said Oberlin Police Chief Richard Young. "That's our job to protect the children of this community."
Chief Young says they searched the school for weapons, as well as the home of the student. "There was no gun on the campus and no weapon. There was also not a weapon found at his father's residence," said Young.
Although the threat was made at Oberlin High School, there is also concern at Oberlin Elementary, which is also on the same campus. "The campuses are connected and if anything breaks out over there anything can break out right here. That's why I decided to be safe and check my two students out of school," said Tammy Worfel.
Worfel's two children are among at least 65 Oberlin students who were checked out of school because of the threat.
"Someone can slip a gun, they can get it past the law. It's happened before and it can happen again. It happened at other schools," said concerned parent James Menier.
Meanwhile police and deputies plan to continue foot patrols on campus. "We're going to be here and we're going to do everything possible to keep any harm from coming to any child here," said Chief Young.