NC teacher charged with ‘threat of mass violence’ against school, investigators say

An elementary school teacher in Hillsborough was charged Tuesday with threatening violence against the school, investigators say.

Pathways Elementary School teacher Kristen Thompson, who abruptly resigned Friday, was charged with “communicating a threat of mass violence,” an Orange County Sheriff’s Office news release says.

Orange County Schools spokesman Seth Stephens said in an email that the school system reacted promptly when alerted about Thompson’s threat.

“Once school administration was made aware about an alleged threat by Kristen Thompson, law enforcement was contacted immediately,” he said.

Investigators say other teachers told them Thompson “made threats to shoot up the school,” the release said.

“This situation is being handled by law enforcement with the safety of our students and school staff as our utmost concern,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “Meanwhile, this situation is also being dealt with by school leadership as a personnel issue as well as a safety one.”

Thompson is due in court June 14.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 919-245-2900.

Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.