Penns Grove parents upset at handling of student's threat

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Parents in Salem County say they're upset over alleged threats made against their children by a fellow classmate.

Parents in Salem County say they're upset over alleged threats made against their children by a fellow classmate.

School district officials say the problem has been handled, but parents say more needs to be done.

The allegation is that three students got into a fight with a fourth student at Penns Grove Middle School two weeks ago. That fourth student is at the center of the investigation because he allegedly uttered racial epithets and strong threats of violence against the other three.

In addition, that same boy was at the center of a gun-related controversy about two years ago.

13-year-old Amire Brown, a student at Penns Grove Middle, says he is afraid that a fistfight he was involved in two weeks ago may soon develop into something bigger.

Brown says, "I feel threatened and how he used the N-word to me. And how he says things he's not supposed to say as a child."

The boy who allegedly threatened Brown was in the news two years ago when his father posted a photo of the child, who was 10 years old at the time, holding a 22 caliber rifle.

It was determined that the boy's father did not commit a crime, but the photo certainly made headlines across the country.

Fast forward to this recent incident where Tysha Santiago, the mother of the other two students involved in the fight, says the alleged use of racial epithets and threats of violence before and during the scuffle has her concerned.

Santiago tells us, "I'm scared that my kids, you know, they walk home. How about their dad comes out and he tries to do something to my sons."

But the school district has an entirely different take on what happened. In fact, while officials say everyone involved in this case has been disciplined, any reports of threats involving weapons has been "grossly exaggerated."

Schools Superintendent Dr. Zenaida Cobian sent Action News a statement, which reads in part:

"The incident did not trigger any of our normal security and safety protocols that are put in place when there is even the appearance of a legitimate or credible threat against the safety of our staff and students."

Action News spoke with several Penns Grove Middle School parents, most of whom say they are very happy with the way the school district handled this situation.

Still, the parents of the other three students involved in this case are pushing for the fourth student to be expelled.
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threatschool threatn.j. newsPenns Grove Borough
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