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A Milton teen was in court last week, charged with making threats against students and administrators at Trimble County High School.
Brandon Savage, 18, a student at the school, was arrested Sept. 29 and arraigned the following day on charges of misdemeanor abuse of a teacher, falsely reporting an incident and third-degree terroristic threatening. He was also charged with felony second-degree terroristic threatening.
Savage’s arrest warrant, filed by Trimble County Attorney Perry Arnold, states the teen called Kentucky State Police while on a school bus Sept. 24 and told a KSP dispatcher that a “serious incident” was taking place on the bus. Superintendent Marcia Haney-Dunaway was contacted and subsequently radioed the bus driver who confirmed no such incident had taken place.
TCHS principal Stirling “Buddy” Sampson claimed in the affidavit that, while questioning Savage about the event the following day at school, the student cursed him and made multiple threats to hit him. Additionally, he is alleged to have told another administrator at the school that he would be sending a “hit list of the students at the school he was going to kill.”
Following his arrest, Savage was released on $1,000 cash bond. He is not to have contact or communicate with any students, teachers or staff at the school.
In a phone interview, Sampson said the school district’s policy allows punishment ranging from verbal reprimand to expulsion for verbal threats.
“A student saying he’s going to kick another student in the leg if the student doesn’t stop bothering him cannot be handled the same as threats of serious harm. There has to be discretion based on the situation,” he said. “But the school’s disciplinary code is dropped when an incident becomes a legal matter. Punishment then is left to the courts.”
Because Savage, as a condition of his bond, is not allowed contact with school personnel, he has been withdrawn from the district. In the event the court restrictions are lifted, Sampson said the district would have several options in determining whether Savage may return to TCHS.
“We are required by law to educate, but that does not mean it must be in a classroom setting. Safety is our number one priority,” he said.
Savage returned to court for a preliminary hearing Oct. 7 and was granted a request for a public defender. He is scheduled to return to Trimble County District Court Nov. 18.
Lorrie Kinkade is editor of The Trimble Banner. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.