When Coahulla Creek High School Assistant Principal Sonya Planzer began to search through the student's backpack, she thought he looked nervous. Anything in here you're not supposed to have? she asked.
The boy stuttered.
"Yellow," was all Planzer heard.
She sifted through the backpack and found a notebook of that color. She opened it and began to scan through the pages. Mostly, she found journal entries. But on one page, according to a police report, Planzer found a list of names, and a headline with a German phrase: "Menschen zu toten/Ziele."
People to kill.
Later that day, Oct. 16, the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office arrested the 15-year-old freshman on a charge of terroristic threats and acts. The boy's name has not been released because he is a juvenile.
School officials cannot say whether the student has been disciplined because that would violate the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, Whitfield County School District spokesman Eric Beavers said in a statement.
But "the student has not been in school since the discovery and law enforcement officers continue to investigate," he said. "We appreciate the school resource officers and staff at the sheriff's office for their rapid response and thank them for a steady partnership that helps us provide safe school buildings for our students."
Coahulla Creek High School, which opened in 2011, has about 1,000 students. And since the opening day two years ago, the school has had an SRO.
For the past 15 years, Beavers said, every Whitfield County school has kept an officer on campus.
According to the Sheriff's Office report, Planzer began to look through the student's backpack two weeks ago after getting a warning from another student. Apparently, the boy had threatened to shoot somebody at the school.
Later, SRO Lee Teems asked the boy who was on this "kill list."
"People who don't think highly of me," he responded, according to the incident report.
Teems then asked why the boy put those names on a list. He said those people had mistreated him, had done him wrong. The boy then told Teems that his father had guns, and that he knew how to get them.
Later, according to police, the teen said he planned to build an improvised explosive device. He already had the blueprints.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476.
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