Ever since the shootings at Columbine High School, which took place fifteen years ago this past Sunday, school administrators have tended to take any student threats very seriously. In this spirit, a publicly unnamed student at Pueblo's Sierra Vista Elementary has been suspended for five days for allegedly putting together a "kill list" featuring the names of ten kids and how he intended to rub them out. But was the roster actually part of a serious plot? Pueblo County District 70 director of student services Greg Keasling confirmed the existence of the list to the Pueblo Chieftain.
The ten boys and girls on the list, along with the author's preferred manner of eliminating them, was "connected to a game that he and other students -- they were playing -- like tag," Keasling told the paper.
Keasling didn't identify any of the listed students, whose parents received personal calls from Sierra Vista's principal after the roster was discovered.
However, one boy, Toby Salinas, told KKTV that he was among those marked for elimination. He said he initially laughed off his inclusion, but became offended on behalf of others when he found out who else had been targeted.
District personnel are currently investigating the case, and the school board could extend the student's five-day suspension if it's determined that the list was part of a genuine plan. But Keasling acknowledges that "at this point, the malice or the intent is unclear."
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Determining whether or not students are legitimately at risk in such cases hasn't gotten any easier over the past decade and a half.
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More from our Follow That Story archive circa April 18: "Why 4/20 is the absolute worst day of the year in Colorado."