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Hillsborough teacher quits after threat to shoot up school

May 22, 2019

After the abrupt resignation of a teacher Friday from Pathways Elementary School in Hillsborough, some of her colleagues came forward to report that she had threatened to shoot up the school.

Kristen Michelle Thompson, 38, of 2108 Strebor St. in Durham, was charged Tuesday with communicating a threat of mass violence. Her bond was set at $1,000, and she paid it, court records show. She has a court date on June 14.

According to the warrant for her arrest, Thompson told three of her fellow teachers 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.”

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said, “This situation is being handled by law enforcement with the safety of our students and school staff as our utmost concern. Meanwhile, this situation is also being dealt with by school leadership as a personnel issue as well as a safety one. A threat of school violence is understandably unsettling for the community. Please know that the school and law enforcement are working together as a team to ensure the last few weeks of the school year are safe and productive for our students.”

Anyone with information about Thompson’s threats is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 919-245-2900.