Iowa teacher arrested after allegedly leaving notes threatening gun violence around school

Source: Pottawatamie County Jail

Dec. 3 2021, Published 10:23 a.m. ET

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An Iowa teacher has been arrested after she allegedly left a series of notes that threatened gun violence around the school where she taught.

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Police say an investigation into a series of anonymous handwritten notes led them to Abraham Lincoln High School teacher Katrina Phelan, 37, KETV reported.

Investigators say the notes all referenced committing gun violence on school property and were found in Phelan’s classroom or a girl’s restroom, according to KETV.

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Police describe one note posing as an unnamed student who said they were tired of being made fun of, KETV reported.

According to an affidavit obtained by KETV, all four notes in question were either found and recovered by students in Phelan’s classroom or by Phelan herself, KETV reported.

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Phelan admitted to writing three of the notes and said they were written on paper from her classroom, according to KETV.

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Police said she confirmed the handwriting on the note was hers, but she couldn’t recall writing them, KETV reported.

The affidavit obtained by KETV states that when asked why she was writing these notes, Phelan said “it was out of concern, worry and frustration over the lack of control of her classroom.”

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When asked what she hoped to accomplish with the notes, Phelan told them maybe to bring attention to the fact that it’s “not a safe place,” KETV reported.

Investigators said they determined Phelan had no intentions or means of carrying out the threats, according to KETV.

Phelan faces charges of threats of terrorism, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, KETV reported.


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