Local mom keeps daughter home from school due to verbal threat


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Vanda Wright's 9-year-old daughter came home from school Wednesday with a disturbing message. She says a fifth grade boy verbally threatened her.

Novia Wright remembers the boy saying: "I can get a gun on you and I can get my brother's gun and shoot you."

"He didn't say, "I'm gonna get a gun. He said he knew where he was going to get the gun from as if he's seen it. He knew exactly who he was going to get it from. That wouldn't scare you as a mother?" said Wright.

Wright reported the incident to the school and called the police who responded to Kernan Elementary School Thursday morning.

"The Utica police officers did speak to both students, they did search the book bag and the locker of the student involved," said Chief Mark Williams of the Utica Police Department.

Police didn't find anything and in a statement to NEWSChannel 2, the Utica school superintendent's office said:

"We take these incidents very seriously. The incident was thoroughly investigated by the Utica Police Department and our own in house security department as well as the building principal. There's no credibility to the threat or accusation made by the parent."

Not taking any chances, Wright kept her daughter home from school Thursday and she may never let her go back.

"Until he's suspended, she's not going back. He's still there. He's still in the classroom. He should have been immediately removed," said Wright.

Utica Police say they don't have probable cause to search the boy's home, but they plan on following up with his parents to make sure there are no guns at home.

"We've been dealing with mass school shootings since Columbine up to the most recent school disaster which was Sandy Hook. You can't take any of these lightly. I don't care if it's a verbal threat or if it's any kind of threat that's made on school grounds, you can't take these things lightly," said Chief Williams.

"Kids are getting killed every day from guns and not guns that belong to them, but guns that are found at home that they're bringing to the school and using, you know, so why, I just want to know, why did they not take me seriously?" said Wright.

Wright is looking into other schooling options for her daughter.

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