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Parents ask court to bar student found with pocketknife from school

Parents from Kirksville are asking a court to make sure an 11-year-old boy who allegedly threatened students with a pocketknife won't be allowed back in class (Photo: KTVO)

The parents of an elementary student who was allegedly threatened last week do not want the child who reportedly made the threat to be allowed back in school.

A lawsuit filed in Adair County asks the court to bar the 11-year-old boy from returning to Ray Miller Elementary. Last week, the student was detained by police after a report that he had threatened other students with a pocketknife. The student reportedly said that he would slit their throats, stab them and “do things to their organs” if they told anyone he had the pocketknife with him.

Tuesday, parents of one of the students who says they were threatened filed a petition asking for an injunction to stop the district from allowing the 11-year-old to return to Kirksville schools. According to the petition, the parents were notified that the student could return as early as 10 days after the incident.

Kirksville Superintendent Damon Kizzire told KTVO that a 10-day suspension is the maximum a school principal can authorize. The superintendent, he said, could authorize a longer suspension of up to 100 days. However, Kizzire said he could not speak about a specific student’s suspension or disciplinary process.

Court documents show that the student said he or she had been threatened earlier in the morning. That student waited until everyone had taken a seat in class -- including the boy who allegedly brought the pocketknife -- before acting. Fearful of how the boy would react, the student then detailed the threat to “slit their throats” on a sticky note and delivered it to the teacher. Administrators were notified, and police reportedly arrived around 9:30 a.m.

Kizzire, who has not yet been served with the suit and so was unfamiliar with the specifics, said that the school would “of course” follow the orders of a judge if any were to be issued.

Online court records show that the case is waiting on a new judge after Judge Russell Steele recused himself.

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