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Police say Gateway Middle School student compiled hit list

| Thursday, April 10, 2014, 6:55 p.m.

Police removed a Gateway Middle School student from the school on Thursday after his parents notified officials that they found a hit list with the names of fellow students in his room, according to a letter the principal sent to parents and posted on the school website.

“There is no danger to the community,” Monroeville police Chief K. Douglas Cole said, because the student was taken to a hospital for observation. A decision on charges will be made when police finish the investigation, he said.

All 25 students named on the list met with school administrators, and their parents were notified, said Cara A. Zanella, school safety and security adviser.

“At approximately 8:15 a.m. (Thursday), a parent informed school administrators and counselors that their son developed a list of students he wanted to harm,” according to the letter by Anthony Aquilio, middle school principal. “They found this list in his bedroom while he was in school.”

The student was taken from class and searched and detained by police and administrators, the letter states.

“We would like to assure you that the student will not be returning to Gateway Middle School, as behaviors such as this are classified as a level IV offense, the highest level of our School Board Policy,” the letter states, adding that classes will continue on a regular schedule.

Earlier this month, three middle school students were disciplined because school officials said they found a hit list developed by the trio was not a credible threat. The three students apologized, school officials said.

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

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mhasch@tribweb.com.

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