Student "Hit List" Causing Concern in South Mississippi County School District

September 23, 2003  - Posted at: 5:26 p.m. CDT

WILSON, Ark. -- Everyday parents send their children to school for an education hoping they're safe.  But, what happens if their child is another student, no less?

That's what a Mississippi County school is now dealing with after teachers found an alleged "hit list" made by a 10-year-old boy.

"He needs help, and until he gets that help, I don't want him here," said Brandy Winford, the parent of another student at Rivercrest Middle School, and that's how some other parents also feel after a faculty member found a note titled "People To Kill."

"We send our kids to school thinking that they're going to be safe.  Right now I don't think she is," said Winford.

Tragic school shootings like Westside Middle and Columbine High both reportedly began with "hit lists.  South Mississippi County Superintendent Rogers Ford says his staff has taken appropriate action to stop such actions from happening at Rivercrest.  The student was removed from classes last Thursday to undergo counseling.

"We started on counseling and we started on Thursday of last week, and it continues as we speak," said Ford.  "He's a good kid but he was angry.  He's had some things in his life that probably made him do that."

Ford said the note was written nearly a month ago and there was no evidence of any weapon.  He says educators and parents should use this time to help students grow and heal, and not to try and "create monsters."

Administrators say they do consider the incident a serious matter and they plan to work with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department to talk to students about the seriousness of making threats.