Why Was A Student Not Expelled After Threatening To Kill Teacher?

A teacher at Oak Ridge High School is taking a stand against the El Dorado Union High School District, calling for ch...

Posted: Mar. 1, 2018 2:27 AM
Updated: Mar. 1, 2018 2:27 AM

A teacher at Oak Ridge High School is taking a stand against the El Dorado Union High School District, calling for changes to their safety procedure.

A student threatened the teacher and the school in November, but the district decided not to expel the student.

"How many more innocent lives need to be lost in order for action to take place?" said Colleen Sanders. "My life was almost one of those!"

Three months ago, the AP statistics teacher says the student threatened to "shoot her and the whole school." El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies investigated and arrested the student for making criminal threats, which the department found credible.

"As a teacher, my heart jumps every time someone I don't know enters my classroom," Sanders said.

But to make matters worse for Sanders, the district decided two weeks ago there wasn't enough evidence to expel the student.

Instead of expulsion, the student will finish senior year at a community day school, but won't be allowed to set foot on a district campus again.

"The students feel that this has set a precedent that this is okay!" said one of the student representatives.

This decision came at a time when nerves are raw, two weeks after the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The El Dorado Union High School District school board listened as many voiced their concerns about the expulsion process.

"We're not responding to the comments because we're not legally allowed to do so," said Tim Cary, a school board member.

The district says expulsion decisions are up to an impartial panel which has the final say.

"I think we will need to take action and deal with these fears and concerns," Cary said.

But Sanders says the time for false promises is over.

"I feel like I owe it to the teachers in Parkland, Florida who aren't here anymore to fight for safety, to fight for change." She said.

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