Parents Outraged Over School Handling Of A ‘Death Notebook’ Targeting Students

A Trussville high school student threatened at least 20 students in a "death notebook" and parents are furious with the lack of action taken by school officials as they learned of the threat.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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A Trussville high school student created a “death notebook” containing the names of 37 students he allegedly wished to kill. Parents have recently expressed their outrage and frustration at the school’s mismanagement of the situation. Now teachers are supporting them as they work to carry on despite constant fears for their children. 

During an emotional City Council meeting Trussville high school parents admitted that they’re losing sleep over this issue. Although the student who allegedly created the death notebook has been transferred to an alternative school for at least 20 days those involved do not believe this goes far enough. Claims of “mismanagement” of the situation have been voiced and even led to the suspension of principal Tim Salem. 

The mayor expressed his support for families concerned about their Trussville high school students. He decried the mishandling of the situation after learning that parents were not properly notified about the situation. An investigation revealed that three teachers had been aware of the “death notebook” for close to a year before reporting it. 

While their reasons have not been disclosed, parents feel as if their children are not safe under such circumstances. In addition, the student who created the notebook had originally been charged with a felony, but those were dropped due to Alabama terrorist threat laws. The Trussville high school policy does not currently require police to be involved in cases involving threats against students and so most investigations are left to the districts. 

Concerned parents wish for this policy to be changed and also demanded that state laws be updated to ensure that students are held accountable for threats and other acts of intimidation and violence. Many of the Trussville high school families involved have stated that their children will no longer attend class if the student who listed off those he wished to kill returned after his removal. 

These teachers held a protest over the situation yesterday, calling in sick to display their support for Tim Salem hoping to also drive forward plans to make security changes. Thankfully no students listed in the Trussville high school “death notebook” have been harmed. The student who created the list is also currently receiving counseling.

School safety is a serious issue. One that has concerned parents for years. Recent increases in school violence and a national focus on the need to update school security have not driven local policy to ensure that students at the Trussville high school are not targeted by individuals who wish to do them harm and that is something that the community wishes to change.

School security measures are a controversial subject. While some parents have expressed a desire for schools to hire more resource officers and install more cameras, others object to turning schools into prison-like institutions. Teachers from the Trussville high school are standing with parents and have openly decried the suspension of the principal, claiming that he has been made into a scapegoat. 

Trussville high school

While parents’ concerns for their children are valid, Trussville high school parents are allowing their emotions to rule the situation. In truth, the student who caused the chaos has been removed from the school, no weapons were discovered, and he is undergoing counseling.  Although threats are a serious issue that need to be addressed right away, no students have been harmed, and the city has now placed the school under further scrutiny for its lack of proper communication and response.