Parents seek answers from Cardinal Newman

Parents seek answers from Cardinal Newman

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department says a 16-year-old student was arrested for threatening to quote “shoot up” Cardinal Newman.

In a letter to parents at Cardinal Newman last night, Principal Robert Loia said the school discovered a video made by a student who made threatening and racist comments on July 13th. Parents met with school leaders and administrators today to discuss the videos and the school’s response moving forward. The meeting was nearly two hours long.

School officials said they let the student’s parents know they planned to expel the student and then the child’s parents withdrew him.

Officials say they found another video on July 17th, while they were investigating. They say in that video, the student claimed he was on his way to “shoot up the school.” The student was arrested and charged with making threats.

The big question for parents this morning was regarding why did the school wait so long to notify the parents.

“A lot of parents are disgusted and upset about the fact that we didn’t know about this incident til maybe two weeks or longer,” Parent Devlon Porter said.

Principal Robert Loia sent a letter to parents on Friday night and a second letter Sunday night. Officials say they found the videos on the 13th and 17th of July, which was more than two weeks before they let parents know. Loia said they did not alert the parents because the threat had been neutralized.

Porter said there were about 10 students in the group text where those videos surfaced but none of the students notified the school of the threats.

Loia said in the letter that a town hall will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Seeing these mass shooting and just how fast that can happen,” Porter said. “My son comes out to practice out here on a weekly basis about six days a week. Any one of these days could have been his last if that student had come up here and executed his plan.”

Porter said he believes the student was given special treatment by being allowed to withdraw from the school, which kept an expulsion off his record.

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