Julie Hillend-Jones, a 58-year-old teacher from Washington, has been arrested after threatening to shoot and kill students, according to local media outlet The News Tribune. Hillend-Jones was arrested and booked on suspicion of making threats to bomb or injure property, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department announced.
Immediately after her arrest, the school district announced it had placed the teacher on administrative leave.
“The normal protocol for threats was followed including immediate notification of law enforcement,” the school district said in a statement. “The staff member was not at school today and has been placed on administrative leave. Making threats against the safety of students and staff is a felony crime and taken very seriously by Puyallup School District.”
Pierce County sheriff’s spokesperson Ed Troyer added: “She didn’t back down from the threats so we arrested her.”
“We don’t know what led up to it – obviously there’s something,” Troyer added to KOMO. “Whether she was actually going to carry it through doesn’t really matter. Everybody knows – in today’s world you don’t do that.”
From the report:
The threats were made off-campus to another adult, who was concerned enough to call authorities. Investigators are unsure what prompted the threat and said the teacher did not mention particular students by name. A search of the Puyallup house shared by the teacher and her husband did not immediately turn up weapons.
It is also believed that Hillend-Jones did not have access to any other weapons.
Hillend-Jones is a geometry teacher at Emerald Ridge High School and reportedly made the threats while speaking to a caseworker and school resource deputies earlier in the week. She allegedly repeated the threats the following day to the school resource officer, according to the Daily Mail.
We can all be thankful that the proper authorities stepped in and took the threats seriously before something tragic and horrific could have happened.