NBC 4 New York
A pair of seventh-grade girls in New Jersey have been pulled from school after allegedly posting a video on YouTube in which they threatened to kill several classmates, authorities said. Brynn Gingras reports.
A pair of seventh-grade girls in New Jersey have been pulled from school after allegedly posting a video on YouTube in which they threatened to kill several classmates, authorities said.
The girls at PS 27 in Paterson posted the roughly 20-minute video naming 10 to 12 classmates they wanted to kill and stab, school officials said.
In the video, which has since been taken down from YouTube, one of the girls brags about being a good assassin and explains why she wishes harm on her classmates.
"I have special killing thingies for different people," she says.
"I think about killing her," she adds. "I don't know why she's annoying."
The mother of one of the targeted students said the threats originated Tuesday afternoon during a classroom journal writing exercise. One of the girls wrote and read aloud the names of students she wanted to kill, though not within earshot of the teacher.
"My daughter said to her, 'You want to kill me?'" said the mother, who did not want her name used. "She said, 'Yes I want to kill you.'"
The mother said her daughter called her from a school bathroom, terrified and in tears.
The school's principal told the mother that the girl who made the threats would be pulled from school and not allowed to return until she was evaluated by a doctor. But the girl was back in school the next day, in a different classroom, because she'd gotten medical clearance.
That afternoon, another student in the class found the threatening video on YouTube. Along with the girl who named classmates, another student participated off-camera.
"She got into detail, that she's going to stab, kill, choke," said the mother. "You can't finish the video, you're so shocked this girl's actually talking this way."
A spokesperson for Paterson schools said the two students have been "removed from the school environment," though it wasn't clear whether they were officially suspended.
"We have been communicating with the parents who had children in the same class as these two students," said Terry Corallo. "We have assured these parents that we have taken this issue very seriously and are taking the necessary steps to address this issue.
"Additionally, the video has been pulled from YouTube. This is now a police investigation and they will have our full cooperation."
The mother of the threatened girl, along with other parents, told NBC 4 New York administrators only removed the girls from class after they reached out to police and to the prosecutor's office.
They said they've learned the two girls have been charged and will be in court Monday, though neither school officials nor Paterson Police have confirmed that.
No one answered the door at the homes of the two girls Thursday evening.
Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones said authorities had no choice but to take action.
"The nation is in a very alerted and alarmed state," he said. "Until some of the more recent events nationally, most folks probably thought, 'It could not happen to me, my neighborhood.' And I think it just puts us all, and should put us all, in a place where we pay attention."