Threats upset Elma again

Graffiti with a message threatening the lives of three black students was found Thursday on a bathroom mirror at Elma High School, prompting school officials to call police and send a letter home to parents Friday.

Also Friday, an anonymous text message threatened a shooting at the school.

At one point Friday, there were six officers at the school, said Lt. Richard Fletcher of the Elma Police Department. No incidents were reported. Police did not know whether the text message and graffiti were related.

The incidents mirrored an episode in March 2008, when someone wrote racial epithets and vulgarity in a bathroom at the school. The message contained threats to kill six minority students. The culprit has not been found.

Elma Superintendent Howard King said Friday night that the district is looking into the matter.

“An investigation is still going on,” he said. “We are taking this very seriously.”

There also was an episode in 2003, when an Elma freshman created a “hit list” of 50 students he wanted to kill. The boy was arrested, convicted of felony harassment and intimidation, and sentenced to three to four years in a state-run juvenile facility.

Fletcher said rumors were flying Friday about the creation of a new “hit list.”

“Nothing was substantiated,” Fletcher said. “These are all isolated rumors.”

Fletcher said Friday that the department had a message from a concerned mother that her child was “number 10 on some hit list.”

Messages and rumors were spreading quickly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Howard said the students who were threatened and their parents have been contacted.