Harriett Todd P.S. student finds his name atop 'kill list'
Grade 6 Harriett Todd Public School student Dakota Funge, 11, and his mom Darlene Martin stand in front of the George Street school Friday in Orillia. Funge’s name was at the top of a kill list found Thursday at the school. SARA ROSS - THE PACKET & TIMES
An 11-year-old fears for his life after learning his name is at the top of a “kill list.”
“The first thing he said to me was ‘Mom, why does somebody want to hurt me?’” Darlene Martin said Friday.
The handwritten list — naming “a few” students who should be killed — was found Thursday at Harriett Todd Public School.
Martin’s son, Grade 6 student Dakota Funge, 11, is at the top of the list.
“It’s scary,” Funge said, adding he has no idea who authored it.
Diane Lefuel, principal of Harriett Todd, confirmed a “written threat” came to the school’s attention Thursday.
The principal called Martin around 7 p.m. Thursday to inform her of the threat.
“She told me not to be alarmed but my son was at the top of a kill list at school,” Martin said, adding she had “no clue” what that meant.
Dakota didn’t know anything about the kill list until his mom told him about it following the call.
“He doesn’t want to go back to school,” Martin said. “He wants to know why him.”
The youth stayed home from school Friday.
“I don’t feel comfortable sending him back to school until I find out what’s going on,” Martin said.
The Orillia OPP are investigating, said Const. Jim Edwards, Orillia OPP spokesperson.
“We were notified. An officer did attend the school and is currently investigating the incident,” he said. “At this time, I can’t give you much more in the way of details.”
Lefuel would not reveal details of the incident, but said “...actions taken have definitely been in accordance (with the school board’s) code of conduct.”
The Simcoe County District School Board’s code of conduct — under the heading “safe and caring schools procedures” — states students can be suspended for “uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person” and for bullying.
It also states a student can be expelled for “any act considered by the principal to be a serious violation of the board or school code of conduct.”
LeFuel would not say what discipline measures have been taken or even if the author has been determined.
“I can’t confirm individual student information,” she said.
LeFuel stressed the school is safe.
“...I will say and I can confirm our school is definitely a safe place right now,” she said.
Asked if students on the list can feel secure at school, Lefuel repeated, “Harriett Todd is a safe place to be, for sure.”
Martin hadn’t heard anything from the school as of late Friday afternoon.
“What are (they) doing?” she asked. “I want to know what’s going to be done about it. I’m very worried. That’s bullying to the extreme.”
Dakota was the victim of bullying at Harriett Todd a few years ago, “but not to this extreme,” Martin said.
Martin doesn’t plan on sending Funge back to school until she gets answers.
“I’m not letting this go,” she said.
Martin and her son have discussed transferring him to another school.
“He doesn’t want to because he has his friends here,” she said. “You don’t want to punish him.”
Comforting Funge Friday, Martin told her son “I told you, you don’t have to worry when your mom’s around you. Never ever worry.”