Teacher Seeks No-Contact Order Against Student Who Posted Online Threats

Student was allowed to return to school after 10-day suspension for allegedly threatening to stab physics teacher

A teacher in southwest suburban Chicago said she plans to head to court Friday to seek a no-contact order against a student who she says threatened her life on social media.

Nickey Walker said she's had few problems with students in her nearly two decades of teaching at Plainfield Central High School, but some messages on Twitter recently left her in "shock," she said.

"A federal agency intercepted a Twitter death threat," she explained to NBC Chicago on Wednesday, and she quoted the message: "'If I don't get 23 out of 20 on this log, I'm going to stab Mrs. Walker.'"

Later, she was made aware of another tweet containing a link to a video of a man angrily busting through a door. The tweet said the video described the way students felt leaving Walker's class.

Walker says the student allegedly behind the messages was initially suspended for 10 days and that while school administrators recommended the student be put in special placement at Plainfield Academy, the school board overturned that transfer recommendation after the suspension period.

"Adolescents often say and do things that are ill advised," said Tom Hernandez, the director of communications for Plainfield Community Consolidated School District. "The changing technological world including social media can amplify their 'adolescent' behavior."

Hernandez declined to discuss student discipline, citing legal issues, but said the school "thoroughly investigates alleged student threats against teachers" using what he called a "threat assessment protocol." He said school offiicals see a "fair number of these kinds of situations," but noted "a very rare few prove to be valid."

Hernandez stressed that while the student is back at school, he or she is not in Walker's class.

That separation was of little solace for Walker.

"Teenagers and adults alike need to recognize that there's a limit to what can be posted on social media," she said. "Death threats are serious once they've been put in print."

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