ShareThis Page

'Hit list' could result in expulsion beyond this school year for Gateway student

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A Gateway Middle School student who was accused last week of writing a “hit list” is prohibited from school grounds for the foreseeable future, officials said.

Superintendent Nina Zetty said Monday the administration would recommend that the school board prohibit the student from school grounds “beyond this school year.”

Officials would not say when the school board will hold an expulsion hearing. The student's age and grade level was not available.

Parents of the student discovered the list in the student's bedroom on April 10, the day after 21 people were injured in a knife attack at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

The parents turned the note over to school officials, at which point the student was removed from class and detained by police and administrators, according to a letter the district sent to middle school parents on the day of the incident.

The letter described the incident as the most serious offense under district policy.

Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole declined to comment on whether charges would be filed, because the student is a juvenile.

The 25 students named on the list met with school administrators, and their parents were notified, said Gateway spokeswoman Cara Zanella, who also serves as a school safety and security advisor.

Earlier this month, three middle school students were disciplined after they compiled a list of names during class. But those students will not be expelled, because the list was not a credible threat, Zetty said.

“The first list was just, ‘these are the people I don't like; these are the people I do,'” Zetty said.

More than 600 students attend Gateway Middle, which draws seventh- and eighth-graders from Monroeville and Pitcairn.

In 2013, five fights, an aggravated assault to a staff member, two threats to a school official or student, one incident of sexual harassment and one incident of obscene and other sexual materials were reported at Gateway Middle School, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education records.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.