MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — Parents of the Madison community gathered for a rally to voice their concerns at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
It all started earlier this year with a text exchange between two Madison high school students.
A judge granted a restraining order in March to 15-year-old Laila Haraj-Sai at Daniel Hand High School, after her mother saw texts on her phone from a male classmate, a friend of Laila’s, that mentioned things like “I’ll still shoot you” and I can’t wait to kill you at school.”
“It was disturbing,” Laila told News 8 before the meeting started. “I had never seen him act like this at all.”
In May, a judge refused to extend the restraining order, ruling the texts were a “joke” and that the teen had no intention of carrying out the threats. A decision on an appeal is pending.
Laila says there is no way she can feel safe with that male student in school with her.
“I want to continue going here. I have so many things I am looking forward to; junior prom, everything. And as of right now I’m not able to do that and I’d really like to do that.,” Laila said.
In the meantime, parents say the superintendent is allowing the male student to return to school on Dec. 6 — six months before his expulsion was supposed to end. This is causing concern for some parents and students.
“It’s preventative so that the thing that happened, I think in Michigan today where there was another school shooting, by a 15-year-old. This is to prevent that and this is to say that this is not just a one-time thing,” Haraj-Sai said during the rally.
Haraj-Sai’s mother said they’re coming forward publicly as a family with the hope that the Board of Ed and superintendent take better control of their students’ safety.
“You failed us. You as the board, you are failing. You are putting in a safety plan that you can’t effectuate,” said Laila’s mother Randi Calabrese during the meeting.
Laila and her parents wanted to make their voices heard along with others in the community, commenting during the BOE meeting tonight.
“This is a serious threat that has been made to a student and every parent in this district should be very, very concerned,” said another Madison parent during the meeting.
Laila argued for a safe future at school for her and her fellow classmates.
“To hear people say this is a joke, it’s really hurtful,” Laila said during the meeting. “I would really, really like to stay at this school without him here because that’s the only way that I feel comfortable.”
The attorney for the accused teen told News 8 in part:
“The Board of Education and the people of Madison are being told a false narrative that there is an ongoing threat to the security of its students. This too is simply not credible.”
News 8 quickly spoke to the superintendent after the Board of Ed meeting. He said he could not comment as this is a confidential student matter.