My son's classmate in private kindergarten threatened out loud to bring in a hammer and a gun and shoot all the kids and the teacher. What to do?
Let me give a little background info first. The child who made these threats has some issues. When my wife dropped off my son one day, he asked if my wife would kiss my son goodbye. When my wife kissed our son on his head, the child said "No, I want you to kiss him on the lips so I can watch." My wife felt creeped out by this and told the director who laughed it off. Later that day, we found out he grabbed our son and kissed him on the lips. We met the next day with the director and told him we want this kid kept away from our son and to inform teachers of his behavior. One teacher told us there are days she can barely teach anything because this child will not sit still. He is often at the front of the room or in timeout. The other day he was playing with a naked baby doll, kissing the doll's bottom. Again we mentioned this to the director and he laughed it off. The child currently has a broken arm with pins in it so we suspect there may be some abuse going on, but have no direct proof. Then just this week, he pulls the I am going to kill everyone comment by bringing in a gun. We have a meeting next week with the director again. We are thinking of pulling our kids out of this school but are conflicted. They have both been there since they were infants and in general, we love the teachers at this place. However, this kid scares us and we fully believe he is capable of doing harm to others. If they don't remove this child from school, should we remove ours?
Absolutely, notify the school and also contact your local law enforcement agency and file a formal report. You do not necessarily have to press charges, but you should be sure to have documentation of the incident, should the problem continue and in the future be a need for further intervention you are going to want to be able to prove that it wasn't the first time.
Kissing your son on the lips and kissing dolls etc. falls into a different category than saying outloud that he will bring in a gun and shoot everybody. I understand why the kissing bothers you but the aloud mention of a gun and shooting people in school is - for a school- a category of concern all its own.
And that was so even before the tragedy of Sandy Hook.
A principal should respond to such a statement in a very structured way. He has legal responsibilities. While it's not easy or likely a Kindergarten child will be able to carry out his threat, it's been said and a threat nonetheless.
Here are questions the answers to which can help you as you pursue this. Who heard the child make this threat? If only your child heard it and it was said out of everyone else's hearing, the Director will only go on alert, let the teacher know, the school psychologist will also be informed and will likely observe the child in the classroom setting.
If the teacher heard it, then the Director should already have been informed of this incident by the teacher. If other children heard it and did not mention it to their parents, then legally it's still as if it was only said to your son.
What a school will allow you to want here is the safe resolution of this. If your aim is to aim to have the child expelled, the Director will pick up on that right away and it will weaken not strengthen your case. Directors need to worry about law suits coming in from all sides and usually they can't expel a child from even a private Kindergarten without a lot of 'due diligence'.
If it were the kissing alone that concerns you, an experienced Director or Principal or an experienced educator of young children would know some young children go through some pretty interesting phases and sometimes some seemingly odd even creepy behaviors before settling into more mainstream behaviors. You've shared your concerns with the school on the kissing. They won't agree or buy into the idea that kissing and killing are part of the same package of behaviors.
As the adoptive mother of two boys who had been sexually and physically abused, I can tell you that these are definitely signs that this child is being traumatized. Please Please PLEASE call the locla abuse hotline or DCF and get authorities involved. This child is suffering!