MEDFORD — Both school and law enforcement officials say that two Medford students responsible for a note marked “kill list” intended no physical harm toward fellow students or Medford faculty.
“We do not believe that there was any viable physical threat,” said Steele County Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott Hanson.
Medford School administrators found two notes last week, reportedly written by two students there. Superintendent Rich Dahman said that one was titled “kill list” and the other “hate list,” with a total of about 35 names written down.
After determining the students responsible, Dahman said the school contacted the Steele County Sheriff’s Office and launched an investigation.
On Tuesday, Dahman said that he was “extremely certain” that the students who compiled the lists did not intend real harm, but that they had “chosen a really inappropriate way to express displeasure with classmates.”
Hanson said that his office worked with the school on the investigation. The case is ongoing, and has been referred to the Steele County Attorney’s office.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no criminal charges had been made, but the school reportedly took disciplinary action against the students who created the list.
One parent of a Medford student whose name was on the list criticized the school’s handling of the case. The parent, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation toward her son, said that a school counselor reached her on Monday, days after the incident. By then, her son already knew about the list.
“They talked to my son before me, so then I had to go all day wondering how he felt,” the parent said. “I’m just a little upset about the whole thing.”
Dahman said that the school called parents of students involved in the incident as soon as possible, but couldn’t reach all of them right away. He said their intention was to give students the facts and let them know that the school determined no threat.
Dahman added that safety was the school’s main concern, and officials erred on the side of caution during the investigation.
“It’s our concern, too,” he said.