If a board member walked in here and said they were going to shoot all of you, would that person be allowed back in this room?
That’s the question River Ridge High parent Jennifer Bretnall posed to the Pasco County School Board during its April 17 meeting.
Bretnall, her son and another parent attended the meeting to address an incident that occurred at the high school just before spring break.
Dakota Bretnall said he was in class the day a classmate threatened to kill a teacher, an administrator and the students.
The teacher told the unidentified student to do his work, but he refused, Dakota Bretnall said.
He started ripping papers, stomping his feet and pushing desks so that students had to move out of the way. The teacher called for help as the situation escalated, and when the assistant principal arrived, the student used explicit language and told her, “You touch me I will bring a gun to school and shoot you, the teacher and everyone in the class,” Dakota Bretnall said.
The students had to leave the classroom at that time, he said. And though the student in question was disciplined, he was allowed to return to school this week.
His return has students and parents concerned.
“I’m scared to death,” Dakota Bretnall said. He fears the student will act on his threats, he said.
Eva Spissak also spoke, telling board members that her daughter is afraid to go to school since the student was allowed to return to class.
Information about the incident and the student involved is limited due to privacy laws, school board attorney Dennis Alfonso said.
Alfonso’s office has been involved since the incident occurred, he said. The district is working with law enforcement to ensure proper protocols are followed, he said.
Sending the student back to school was “not a result of board action," vice-chairman Allen Altman said.