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Edgerton expels two after T-shirt incident

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Stacy Vogel
October 23, 2007
— Two Edgerton High School students arrested Oct. 4 after allegedly making threats at school probably won’t face criminal charges, but they will have to find somewhere else to finish their senior year.

The students—Matthew Richardson and Kristina Schneider-Hendron, both 17—were expelled Monday night in a closed meeting with Edgerton School District administrators and the school board, said Jennifer Hendron, Kristina’s mother.


The school district could not confirm the identity of the students expelled Monday because of student privacy issues. A public notice said the hearing was “a result of a student engaging in conduct while at school which endangered the property, health or safety of others, by making statements affecting the lives of other students on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007.”


Dale Pope, attorney for the school board, confirmed that two students were expelled Monday. One was expelled until age 21, while the other was expelled for the remainder of this year and all of next year unless certain conditions were met, Pope said.


Hendron said her daughter was expelled for two years but could return next year if she took anger management classes and underwent a psychiatric evaluation.


Richardson and Schneider-Hendron were arrested Oct. 4 after making threatening statements about school shootings, said Lt. Bob Bolgrihn of the Edgerton Police Department.


“They said they could shoot everyone in the school and they wouldn’t care,” he said.


It’s unclear if the students meant they intended to shoot students or if they didn’t care if others opened fire in the school, Bolgrihn said.


The incident came a week after the school banned Insane Clown Posse clothing. Students held a peaceful protest outside school grounds Oct. 1 to protest the ban. Later that week, Superintendent Norm Fjelstad said he received “threatening” e-mails and phone calls from Insane Clown Posse fans who said they would fly to Edgerton and “deal with … someone who looks like and acts like Hitler.”


Richardson and Schneider-Hendron were arrested after a school staff member reported overhearing their conversation, the day after Fjelstad revealed the threats, Bolgrihn said. They were released the next day, and the district attorney doesn’t intend to press charges, a spokeswoman for the office said.


The police department continues to investigate the incident, and a police report was not available, Bolgrihn said.


But Hendron believes the staff member who reported the conversation has a personal vendetta against Richardson and her daughter. She said she wasn’t sure what Richardson said, but she knows her daughter didn’t make threats.


“Kristina’s had a problem with this one teacher for years, and I feel like (the teacher) kind of found a way to get rid of Kristina,” she said.


Her daughter has never been in trouble at school before, she said.


Hendron also questions why the students were arrested at the end of the day when the conversation took place first thing in the morning.


“The cops didn’t come get them until 5:30 at night,” she said. “If they were seriously concerned that something was going to happen, why didn’t they do something right away in the morning?”


Neither Richardson nor his parents could be reached for comment.


Hendron said she probably would enroll her daughter in a virtual school no matter the outcome of the expulsion hearing.


“I wouldn’t let Kristina go back to that school system either way,” she said.


STORYLINE

The issue: Edgerton Superintendent Norm Fjelstad received threats after the Edgerton School District banned Insane Clown Posse clothing. Two students, Matthew Richardson and Kristina Schneider-Hendron, were arrested Oct. 4 on suspicions they made threats at school. They were released the next day without charges.


What’s new: Richardson and Schneider-Hendron were expelled Monday night, the mother of one of the students said.


What’s next: Schneider-Hendron’s mother, Jennifer Hendron, intends to enroll her daughter in a virtual school, she said. Richardson and his family could not be reached for comment.



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