Middle school teacher accused of making threats of terrorism

Kendall Tietz, DCNF

A Michigan middle school teacher is accused of leaving notes threatening acts of terrorism inside classrooms, Fox 2 reported.

A 59-year-old art teacher left threatening notes in three rooms at Jefferson Middle School last week, according to police, Fox 2 reported. The suspect, Johnna Rhône, claimed she was innocent, denying the allegations in a Macomb County court proceeding on Monday.

Prosecutors said school surveillance videos shows her sliding the notes under doors at the middle school, Fox 2 reported.

“‘Start break early. He’s going to do it. Just don’t be in the hall after lunch. Boom. Get it?’” Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido read from one of the notes, Fox 2 reported. “I can expect something like this from a child, not an adult,” he said.

Rhône’s attorney, Andrew Leone, told Fox 2 that Rhône is “flat-out” denying the allegations. Prosecutors said this is the first time they have charged a teacher, who bears the responsibility of protecting kids at school, for threatening notes.

“The superintendent came out and said he saw no plausible threat,” Leone said. “He saw words on a piece of paper, with nothing to back it up … so I don’t think there is any threat to this particular community or the kids of this community.”

Rhône was placed under house arrest with a bond of $75,000 until a court hearing Friday, Fox News reported. She faces a false threat of terrorism charge which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, according to police.

School districts across the country have ramped up security, communications to parents and even shut down buildings after an anonymous TikTok said U.S. schools would see “multiple school shootings” on Dec. 17. A TikTok “challenge” encouraged students across the country to send their schools shooting and bomb threats.

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