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Orange teachers heard threats, did not report them until after colleague resigned

Sarah Krueger, WRAL reporterMay 24, 2019

An Orange County Schools spokesman on Friday clarified the timeline between a teacher’s threats, her resignation and her arrest on Tuesday.

Seth Stephens said the principal of Pathways Elementary School in Hillsborough didn’t know that a special needs teacher there had threatened to shoot up the school until May 18, the day after the teacher resigned.

Administrators notified law enforcement of the threat, and Kristen Michelle Thompson, 38, of 2108 Strebor St. in Durham, was arrested May 21.

According to prosecutors, Thompson told three of her fellow teachers on May 6 that she’d signal them with a message – “the squash is ripe” – to get out of the school because she was going to open fire. Another teacher told investigators that Thompson said, “any day she does not come in and shoot the school is a good day.”

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