PSP: Miscommunication caused three-month delay in notifying victims on alleged West Perry “kill list”

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SPRING TWP., Pa. - State police Thursday blamed a miscommunication between them and West Perry School District officials over how parents did not find out about a student's alleged “kill list” for three months.

District officials talked about the security measures the district has taken and what they want to see moving forward.

West Perry School District officials and state police apologized for their lack of communication about a student who allegedly created a kill list in November.

“I want to apologize that you're here under these circumstances,” said district Superintendent Dr. Michael O’Brien. “It's a learning opportunity for all of us.”

State police say the kill list was reported by a student several days after that student talked to the suspect accused of creating it on the school bus.

They say miscommunication between the district and police about who the victim was, the school itself or the people on the list, delayed notification until February.

“As the investigating agency, we determined that those people who were listed on that list were the victims and not the school,” said Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Randy Kane. “As a result of the misunderstanding, notifications were not immediately made.”

But parents say they remain unconvinced by what they heard from leaders about why the communications breakdown happened, and want the school board and administrators to know how they feel about this.

“You chose not to hold Dr. O'Brien accountable and force him to do what the school board policies require you to do, and quite frankly, what the memorandum of understanding with our state police require this district to do,” parent Rhonda Campbell said, directing her comments to the school board members in attendance.

Those parents say they are ready to push for the removal of district officials after this incident.

“You have not once said, ‘It's my fault that we are here, it's my fault that nobody was told until the DA Andy Bender's office picked up the phone,’” said parent Kim Alleman to O’Brien.

West Perry School Board members would be the ones responsible for any personnel changes.

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