PUYALLUP, Wash. (KOMO/CNN) - A sheriff said a Washington teacher has been arrested after threatening to shoot students.
Pierce County, Wash. deputies said the high school teacher made threats about shooting students while off campus during a conversation with adults. (Source: KOMO/CNN)
Julie Hillend-Jones, 58, works at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup.
Sophomore Brooklyn Bisson said she first heard about the arrest of her teacher from a friend during fifth period.
“I was like really shocked to like hear that it was her, because she’s a very much like a ‘I’m here to help you’ type of teacher,” Bisson said.
Pierce County deputies said Hillend-Jones made threats Tuesday night about shooting students. The threats were made off campus during a conversation with adults.
Deputies contacted her Wednesday morning and said she didn't back down from those comments, so they took her into custody.
"It's too bad that teachers can get to the point where they can do something like that, and they are not all like this," said area resident Vicky Binkiewicz.
Deputies said they didn't find any weapons when they arrested Hillend-Jones. She was immediately placed on administrative leave.
In a statement, the district said making threats against the safety of students and staff is a felony crime and taken very seriously.
Hillend-Jones has no criminal record. Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said investigators so far haven't discovered any other problems in her teaching history.
“We don’t know what led up to it. Obviously, there’s something,” Troyer said. “Whether she was actually going to carry it through doesn’t really matter. Just like a kid, if you make those types of threats, you’re going to be in trouble and held accountable.”
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