District letter: Hernando teacher removed from classroom after saying she ‘wanted to shoot some students’

A Hernando County teacher has been removed from classrooms while school district officials said they continue to investigate "concerning comments" she made. 

In a letter to parents, Hernando County Schools Superintendent John Stratton said the decision came after more information on the incident was released by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. 

"In light of this additional information, the school district will continue to investigate the incident and require further involvement by mental health experts," Stratton said in the letter, which was sent out to parents Thursday. 

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The sheriff's office's incident report was recently obtained by the group Moms for Liberty and detailed the incident that happened back on March 24 at Fox Chapel Middle School. 

It said that guns were confiscated from the teacher's home. The sheriff's office confirmed to FOX 13 that a judge had also granted a risk protection order in the case. 

The incident report stated that the teacher told the assistant principal at Fox Chapel Middle that she was "having bad thoughts" and "wanted to shoot some students."

The teacher had told the guidance counselor she was upset, because she "learned about a social media post where people were talking negatively about her sexual orientation." She also told the counselor she "has suicidal thoughts" and "three handguns at home" and that she "wanted to shoot some students due to them not performing to their ability."

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The report went on to say after the teacher made the comments about wanting to shoot students she "immediately stated she would never harm a student" and "stated that she does not want to harm herself."

The superintendent's letter to parents said they will be taking a hard look at the actions taken that day, in the days following the incident and determine if any steps were missed. The district has not set a date for her return, but they did say she is cooperating fully with the investigation. 

Before the report was released, furious parents showed up to Tuesday evening's school board meeting to voice their concerns with the school district. At the meeting, Stratton didn't tell parents what the teacher said that was found concerning, which led to several heated moments. 

"I can't share all the facts with you, but I can tell you I respect the sheriff's department and his team and I respect my team and both of those groups who do this all the time I'll remind you determined there was not an imminent threat," Stratton said during the meeting.

The district had said the teacher was cleared to return to the classroom a few days prior to school board meeting. School officials called in the sheriff's office, and they said they were told the comments didn't rise to an imminent threat.