Iowa Teacher Arrested For Leaving Threatening Handwritten Notes At High School

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Representation. Police.

An Iowa teacher has been arrested for leaving a series of handwritten threatening notes at a high school referencing gun violence, authorities said.

The 37-year-old Council Bluffs High School teacher, identified as Katrina Phelan, was arrested after she turned herself in to cops Wednesday. She has been charged with three counts of making terroristic threats, with each count a Class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, the Council Bluffs Police Department said in a news release.

Investigation revealed that all the four notes referenced committing gun violence at Abraham Lincoln High School. "Each of the notes was reportedly either found in Phelan’s classroom or found by Phelan herself, in various locations within the school,” the affidavit said.

During an interrogation, Phelan admitted to writing the notes. She confirmed to the cops that the handwriting on the notes was hers but said she could not recall writing them.

When Phelan was asked why she wrote the notes, she said it was to bring attention to "the fact that the school was not a safe place." She said she did it "out of concern, worry, and frustration over the lack of control of her classroom," KETV reported citing the arrest affidavit.

The investigators determined that Phelan, however, did not intend to carry out the threats. According to the news release, “in at least one of the notes, Phelan, posing as an unnamed student, wrote that she was tired of being made fun of."

Meanwhile, the school management assured the parents that the school environment is safe for children and the accused teacher will no longer be employed at there. 

“They [investigators] have determined the source of the notes to be a school employee. Investigators concluded there was no intent or means to carry out the threats. However, the employee has been charged with a crime, has voluntarily surrendered to the police, and will no longer be employed by the Council Bluffs Schools," the management said in an email to the parents as reported by KETV.


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