Parents with children attending Fox Chapel Middle School in Hernando County, Florida, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that school officials failed to notify them after a transgender teacher allegedly threatened to shoot and kill students.
Assistant Principal Kerry Thornton and guidance counselor Kimberly Walby contacted the middle school’s resource officer on March 24 to file an incident report regarding a teacher allegedly expressing thoughts about suicidal ideation and possibly shooting students.
The report, obtained by Moms for Liberty’s Hernando County chapter, stated that Alexander Renczkowski, a biologically male teacher who identifies as female and goes by the name Ashlee, had confessed to having “bad thoughts” but denied threatening to harm students. According to the report, the teacher stated that “she does not want to harm herself.”
Authorities then confiscated three firearms and ammunition from Renczkowski’s home, the report noted. After conducting a threat assessment, Hernando County School District’s mental health coordinator, Sandra Hurst, found that the teacher did not meet the criteria to be involuntarily institutionalized for mental illness under Florida’s Baker Act law, the report added.
Renczkowski was reportedly allowed back into the classroom the next day.
Several parents told the DCNF that they learned about the incident from a local reporter, not the school.
Jim Looker, a parent with a 12-year-old attending Fox Chapel Middle School, told the outlet, “It took roughly two and a half weeks for them to even say anything to the parents and send some kind of — excuse my language — bulls**t recording. And it’s because of a local reporter here, Tom Lemons. He broke the article.”
Jacqueline Gioiosa, a mother whose daughter was in Renczkowski’s class, told the DCNF, “The school didn’t say anything. I found out this Easter weekend when I read the article that came out.”
According to the parents, the school did not contact them until 17 days after the report was filed and the news had already circulated.
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Wednesday about the March incident.
“On 03-24-23, the HCSO was notified of, and did investigate, an event at Fox Chapel Middle School,” the sheriff’s office said. “The investigation revealed that no criminal offense(s) occurred; therefore, no arrest(s) could be made. Further, deputies found that the individual did not, at that moment, meet the required criteria for involuntary commitment under the Baker Act.”
The sheriff’s office noted that the teacher cooperated with law enforcement to hand over all firearms.
The Hernando County School District, Fox Chapel Middle School, and Alexander Renczkowski did not respond to requests for comment, the DCNF reported.
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