Iowa teacher accused of leaving ‘threatening notes’ at high school

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — An Iowa high school teacher is accused of leaving a series of threatening notes around the school referencing gun violence, authorities said.

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Katrina Phelan, 37, of Council Bluffs, turned herself in to police on Wednesday, WOWT reported. She is facing three counts of making terroristic threats, according to a news release from the Council Bluffs Police Department.

The three counts are Class D felonies and are punishable up to five years in prison, according to KETV.

According to police, an investigation into a series of anonymous handwritten notes led authorities to Phelan, according to KETV. Police said all of the notes referenced committing gun violence at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, the television station reported. The notes were found in Phelan’s classroom or by the teacher, police said.

Police said that when investigators interviewed Phelan, she admitted to writing the notes, according to the news release. Authorities determined that Phelan “had no intentions or means of carrying out these threats.”

“In at least one of the notes, Phelan, posing as an unnamed student, wrote that she was tired of being made fun of,” police said in the release.

In an email to parents, Principal Bridgette Bellows said she wanted them to “have confidence that our schools are safe.”

“The Council Bluffs Police Department has concluded its investigation into the threatening notes found at school a few weeks ago,” Bellow wrote, according to KETV. “They have determined the source of the notes to be a school employee. Investigators concluded there was no intent or means to carry out the threats. However, the employee has been charged with a crime, has voluntarily surrendered to the police, and will no longer be employed by the Council Bluffs Schools.”