Two hit lists found in Kenton schools this week

September 20, 2012

KENTON — What normally would have been a regular school week turned into a dramatic one for Kenton schools.

On Monday, there was a hit list found at Kenton Middle School and on Wednesday, one was found in Espy Elementary.

“Basically, it was a note, and it said ‘hit list’ at the top, and it had names of teachers and students listed below it,” said Kenton Police Lt. Robert Lutes. “I believe it was the same for both schools.”

Kenton Police Department is still investigating the note that was found at Espy Elementary, but Lutes said officials believe they have found the kids responsible at the middle school for the threatening note.

“Three students have been identified as suspects for that list,” Lutes said. “The reports have been forwarded to Hardin County juvenile prosecutor’s office.”

Kirk Cameron, middle school principal, who was in Texas for training at the time of the threat, said they identified the responsible students through handwriting analysis and samples. By the beginning of first period Tuesday, Cameron said, they had an idea of exactly who the responsible students were.

“I ended up having one of my English teachers, the assistant high school principal and my assistant principal all work together to evaluate writing samples, and we narrowed it down,” Cameron said. “We notified the students and staff that were on the list so that they were aware of the situation and we also notified the Kenton Police along with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.”

Cameron called an all-staff meeting with law enforcement at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday for safety purposes, he said. The staff worked to narrow down the search.

“We were pretty sure we knew the gender or grade level of the students by that night,” he said.

Those three students are also facing disciplinary action at the school, Lutes said. He was unsure of the extent of their punishments.

Cameron said he is unable to release the identities of the three students. He said they are still deciding on a punishment.

Details on the list itself were also unable to be released.

“It was not just a handful,” Cameron said on Thursday. “It was a longer list. Quite a few names.”

Kids in sixth, seventh and eighth grades attend the middle school. The list was found by a student, who gave it to a teacher, who gave it to Cameron, Lutes said.

“It was found on the upper hall floor, and that note was turned in to a teacher,” Lutes said. “It was reported to the police department approximately at 1 p.m.”

Lutes said the second note, written within a matter of days, was a copycat.

“We do not believe the same person wrote them,” Lutes said.

Espy Elementary principal, Ann Brien, would not comment Thursday. Kenton schools superintendent Jennifer Penczarski did not return calls for comment Thursday.

Students from kindergarten to fifth grade attend Espy Elementary. That note was also found by a student and ultimately turned into the principal around noon on Wednesday, he said.

Lutes said the writer of the elementary school note has not been found.