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Council Bluffs teacher arrested for ‘threatening notes’ found at Abraham Lincoln High School



A Bluffs Council teacher has been arrested for allegedly leaving a series of threatening notes around school regarding gun violence. Council Bluffs Police said an investigation into a series of anonymous handwritten notes led them to teacher Katrina Phelan, 37, teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School. According to police in an affidavit, all four of the notes mentioned were found and recovered by students in Phelan’s classroom or Phelan herself. Police said she confirmed the handwriting on the note was hers, but could not recall writing them. The affidavit also said that when asked why she was writing these notes, Phelan replied that ‘it was anxiety, worry and frustration about her lack of control over her classroom.’ Investigators said Phelan told them it was possible to draw attention to the fact that it was ‘not a safe place.’ They described one note posing as an unnamed student saying they were tired of being ridiculed. Phelan faces a Terrorist Threat charge. The three counts are Class D felonies, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Parents said they felt safe sending their children to school. “I feel very reassured that they are doing the right thing, it’s happening quickly and with great care and that everything is being done appropriately,” parent Kelli Blai said. “If it’s a child, you might be like… their brains haven’t developed yet, but for an adult to do so I think I can’t even, it’s unbelievable,” one grandparents said. Parents: Council Bluffs Police Department concluded an investigation into threatening notes found at the school several weeks ago. They have identified the source of the note as a school employee. Investigators concluded there was no intention or means to carry out the threat. However, the employee has been charged, voluntarily surrendered to police, and will no longer be employed by the Council’s Bluffs Schools. We appreciate the detectives and their diligence in solving this crime. During that investigation, the students provided us with useful information. This is what we expect from students at ALHS. We want all students, parents and staff to believe that our schools are safe and supportive environments. Bellows, Headmaster

A Bluffs Council teacher has been arrested for allegedly leaving a series of threatening notes around school regarding gun violence.

Council Bluffs Police said an investigation into a series of anonymous handwritten notes led them to teacher Katrina Phelan, 37, teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School.

According to police in an affidavit, all four of the notes mentioned were found and recovered by students in Phelan’s classroom or Phelan herself.

The affidavit said Phelan admitted to writing three of the notes and said they were written on paper from her class. Police said she confirmed the handwriting on the note was hers, but could not recall writing them.

The affidavit also said that when asked why she was writing these notes, Phelan replied that ‘it was anxiety, worry and frustration about her lack of control over her classroom.’

When asked what she hoped to achieve by writing these notes, investigators said Phelan told them it was possible to draw attention to the fact that it was ‘not a safe place’. .’

Investigators said they determined Phelan had no intention or means of carrying out the threats. They described one note posing as an unnamed student saying they were tired of being ridiculed.

Phelan faces a Terrorist Threat charge. The three counts are Class D felonies, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Parents said they felt safe sending their children to school.

“I feel very reassured that they are doing the right thing, it’s quick and well taken care of and everything is being done appropriately,” parent Kelli Blair said.

Others are confused about the situation.

“If it’s a child, you might say… their brains haven’t developed yet, but for an adult to do so that I think I can’t even, it’s unbelievable,” one grandparents said.

The following email was sent to ALHS parents:

The Council Bluffs Police Department concluded an investigation into threatening notes found at the school several weeks ago. They have identified the source of the note as a school employee. Investigators concluded there was no intention or means to carry out the threat. However, the employee has been charged, voluntarily surrendered to police, and will no longer be employed by the Council’s Bluffs Schools. We appreciate the detectives and their diligence in solving this crime.

During that investigation, students provided us with useful information. This is what we expect from students at ALHS.

We want all students, parents and staff to believe that our schools are safe and supportive environments.

Mrs. Bellows, Principal

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