5th grader threatens to shoot classmates in poem

Posted at 9:50 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 01:47:04-04

An Avondale dad is taking action to hold his daughter's school accountable after he says one of her classmates read a poem threatening to shoot several students.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, this is for the most irritating people in this classroom, students, and I’m gonna shoot you. Something to that effect," said Anthony Rivera explaining the poem.

He said a student read the poem aloud and it listed the intended targets.

"There were names. My daughter specifically heard her name and that's why she reported it," Rivera said.

He says the teacher, who was a substitute, didn't report it right away. He learned about it from his daughter and had to confront administrators himself at Garden Lakes Elementary.

Rivera says at first he was told they didn’t know who was responsible and then he learned two students were in fact sent home over the incident.

Rivera says he took it upon himself to call Avondale police to file a report.

"If there's any mention of deadly force towards my child, I’m gonna press charges," he said.

The school sent a letter home to parents warning them of a threatening note read in a classroom and assuring parents several times student safety is a priority.

The school insists it's working with police, following their lead when it comes to releasing specific information.

Rivera says he’s making formal requests under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to see the poem first hand and read any statements taken from his daughter. He also wants the names of the students who were sent home or an attendance list for the next day. Rivera says he wants the student or students who wrote, what he calls a kill-list, to be kept off campus.

According to the Family Policy Compliance Office, there is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records including but not limited to grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, health records (at the k-12 level), student financial information (at the postsecondary level), and student discipline files.