UPDATE 3:02 p.m.: The teacher has resigned effective immediately, the school district said Friday.
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A Colorado middle school teacher admitted he wrote "I want to kill children" messages to his classroom, a district spokesperson told TheBlaze Friday — and now the teacher is on leave and awaits his fate.
Kris Burghart, an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Otho E. Stuart Middle School in Commerce City, wrote and projected two messages to his classroom last Friday, School District 27J spokesperson Tracy Rudnick confirmed to TheBlaze.
The first said, "Silent Reading ... I want to kill children so please sit down and read" while the second said, "Silent Reading .... I want to kill children BUT i AM A LOVING cHRISTIAN MAN WHO NEVER WOULD HURT A FLEE [sic] so please sit down and read," Rudnick confirmed.
Burghart was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday after meeting with the school's principal Monday, Rudnick told TheBlaze.
The district has not yet released information on its decision, but Rudnick told TheBlaze that district officials were scheduled to meet with Burghart Friday morning to discuss its decision and next steps.
Burghart was still listed in the school directory Friday, as was his teacher page.
"It is our firm belief that at no time, under any circumstance is it acceptable to threaten harm to our students — not as a teaching tool, not as venting frustration, not as a joke," Rudnick told TheBlaze.
Principal Fabricio Velez told parents in a Facebook message Wednesday about "an incident that took place in Mr. Burghart’s Connect 21 class (last period of the day). It was reported to me, by a parent, that Mr. Burghart had projected a message on the board that frightened some of our Raptors."
Velez added that an investigation was underway and that Burghart "has been suspended indefinitely pending the District’s final decision."
The principal also told parents, "I can assure you that no student was in danger at any time."
Parents earlier this week expressed mixed feelings about the incident.
“We all have bad days, but as a person in a position of trust with our students, it doesn’t matter how bad your day is,” one parent told KDVR-TV. “You don’t speak that way. You don’t write that way.”
But the station added that over a dozen parents voiced support for Burghart. He was called "the most supportive teacher for any of the kids in this school,” an "asset to our community" and "the greatest teacher at this school," KDVR noted.
One parent in support of Burghart added to the station "people make mistakes."
Attempts to reach Burghart at his home on Tuesday were unsuccessful, KDVR reported.