Madison County mother says son feared for safety after gun threat

Updated: Aug. 7, 2018 at 5:46 AM CDT
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(WAFF) - Back in May, a Madison County mother's irate Facebook post about what happened to her son at Monrovia Middle School was shared more than 600 times.

It spelled out how her son was threatened at school by another student and the challenges she kept facing trying to get something done about it.

Whitney Fowler's rising 8th grader is going to a private school this year.

"He's that afraid, he's that afraid and the schools can't guarantee us safety," said Fowler.

She and her husband made the decision after her son wrapped up his 7th grade year at Monrovia Middle School in fear.

"He came in through the back door and he busted in and fell into my arms. 'I thought I was going to die today, momma,' and I said what are you talking about. He said another student threatened to shoot me, he told me he had a gun," explained Fowler.

That day, Fowler says her son used the SAFE 2 TELL line where he texted school officials anonymously about what happened to the student.

"He was immediately removed from class so they did all of that right and they checked him and there was no gun but the kid had told my son that there was a gun in his bag, and then he acted it out like he was pulling out the gun to shot him," added Fowler.

This was all happening just a week after the Parkland Florida shooting.

"The same child had threatened to empty a clip into a group of students including my son about a month before so that's why he was afraid that it was a real, legit thing because he had threatened to kill him before," and Fowler.

She went down to the school to address what happened. Fowler says she was told they would handle it and get back to her.

"I got nothing. It was as though they were silencing me to the end of the school year," said Fowler.

Fowler was told administrators reviewed the situation and made a decision, a decision she was never officially told.

In a statement, Monrovia Middle School's Principal, Anthony Thompson wrote WAFF stating: "With regards to the incident in question, at the conclusion of the investigation, which included law enforcement, I recommended the highest level of consequences allowed by Madison County School policy. The child was removed from the school and has not been on campus since the incident."

WAFF asked if that covered the new school year and was told I couldn't be provided that information since it violated the student's privacy. But in 2018 when school threats are real concerns, Fowler says school policy needs to change like not allowing a student who threatened another to be allowed to return to the same school and parents of the victim being provided information regarding the school's investigation.

"To me in this situation there has to be some judgment calls allowed to be made, it shouldn't be black and white," said Fowler.

To Fowler, the child who made the threat is more protected by school policy than the child on the receiving end.

Fowler was told the school has done its part and if she wanted to take up the issue on her own, she would need to press charges, which she did.

The charge falls under harassment.

She has also written Superintendent Matt Massey and requested a formal policy change to the student code of conduct.

We'll bring you updates on that request, if any.

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