Hit List Circulates School

Hit List Circulates School Flabbergasted parents found out Friday about a hit list that targeted students and teachers at a South Jersey school, and police said the authors of the list were two female sixth-graders.

Authorities said that the incident started during the sixth-graders' lunch at Fountain Woods Elementary School when a cafeteria worker intercepted a piece of paper that the students were passing around. When school officials examined the paper, they found a nasty hit list.

Two sixth-grade girls have been suspended for circulating the list.

"It did have some words in there that we would interpret as a harmful intent," said Arthur Merz, acting superintendent.

The school district said the girls confessed to writing the names of 43 students and four teachers on the list. However, because school officials believe the girls never intended to actually harm anyone, the district decided not to notify the parents of the students on the list.

"Since we determined it was a prank, we didn't want to notify everyone on the list. We thought we would create a panic situation and maybe even a copycat situation," Merz said.

"I'm a little bit upset about it, quite frankly, that they thought the parents didn't need to know because they didn't want us to worry," said Karen Millerline, a parent of a child at Fountain Woods.

But the school said that many of the people on the hit list were listed only by their first names and that they would be difficult to identify.

"We believe that it was something that children do, but taken very seriously by the district," Merz said.

The two girls are expected to be back in school on Tuesday, pending the results of psychological evaluations. A police report was filed, but criminal charges will not be filed. The district has sent home a letter to all parents of sixth-graders, but did not reveal the names of the people on the list.

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