Iowa Teacher Arrested for Threatening Notes Found in School
An Iowa high school teacher has been arrested, and lost her job, after leaving threatening notes inside the high school where she taught.
According to the Council Bluffs Police Department, 37-year-old Katrina Phelan was charged with three counts of Threats of Terrorism on Wednesday, December 1. The three felony counts mean she could spend up to 15 years in prison.
Council Bluffs Police say that a number of anonymous handwritten notes were located inside Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School. All of the notes talked about committing gun violence on school property and were either found by people inside Phelan's classroom or by Phelan, herself, around the high school.
While an investigation was taking place over several weeks, the high school had increased security. When police conducted an interview with Phelan, she admitted she wrote the notes. In a press release, the Council Bluffs Police Department said,
It was determined that she had no intentions or means of carrying out these threats. In at least one of the notes, Phelan, posing as an unnamed student, wrote that she was tired of being made fun of.
Phelan turned herself in at the Pottawattamie County Jail in Council Bluffs on Wednesday. She has since posted bond, and been released.
In an email to parents, Law and Crime reports that Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln principal Bridgette Bellows said, in part,
... (the employee) will no longer be employed by the Council Bluffs Schools.
During (the) investigation, students provided us with information that was helpful. This is what we expect from students at ALHS.
We want all students, parents and staff members to have confidence that our schools are safe and supportive environments.