Nation & World

Girl says she was suspended for punching classmate who had bullets and made threats

Lancaster students threatened to ‘shoot up the school’ and were taken seriously

Lancaster police and investigators responded to concerns from students and parents at Lancaster High School on Feb. 16, after students heard two of their peers discussing “shooting up the school."
Up Next
Lancaster police and investigators responded to concerns from students and parents at Lancaster High School on Feb. 16, after students heard two of their peers discussing “shooting up the school."

Crystal Williams-Phillips, a senior at Cairo-Durham High School in New York, said she didn’t take the threat lightly.

Her high school went into a lockdown on Tuesday after a ninth-grader there allegedly made threatening statements, according to the Register-Star. Police say they took the boy into custody.

Williams-Phillips told News10 that the student showed her some bullets in his pocket.

“No one else would say anything so I figured I would,” she said. “I went to the main office and let them know what was going on.”

But before alerting school officials, the teenager says, she did something else to the boy.

“I punched the kid in the face,” she said to WTEN, “because he looked me in the eyes and told me that death was a joke.”

Williams-Phillips said the boy threatened to harm other students at her school, according to WTEN, and that he “admitted (he was dangerous) to me and admitted it to other students.” The school went into a lockdown after she went to the main office and warned officials, she says.

But the senior said that she got suspended for punching the boy — and now she’s worried it could affect her chances of getting into a college.

“Code of Conduct says that we’re not supposed to get suspended or in trouble because we’ll be stripped of our honors rights,” Williams-Phillips told NBC4i. “It means a lot that I am in honors and I don’t want that to be taken away from me.” The school said it will examine all details before making a final decision over whether Williams-Phillips will lose her honors.

The school went into a lockdown on 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Facebook status from the district. It lasted just over 30 minutes before the all-clear was given and the district wrote that “we commend the student who came forward with the information about the alleged threat.”

The boy who allegedly made the threat did not have a gun, police told the Register-Star. He’s scheduled to appear in family court as a juvenile.

Kimberly Cammarata, a senior at the school, told News10 she “was terrified” on Tuesday.

“I was really anxious,” she said. “It was like every little noise you heard was like, ‘What was that? Is someone coming?’”

Williams-Phillips said she remains worried about her college prospects in light of the suspension.

“I understand that punching him in the face wasn’t the best solution,” she told WTEN, “but if I hadn’t, none of this would’ve worked out the way it did.”

  Comments