Iowa teacher arrested after writing gun violence notes



  • An Iowa teacher lost her job and was arrested after writing a series of “threatening notes” at school.
  • Police said Katrina Phelan, 37, wrote several notes about gun violence on school property.
  • Phelan has been charged with three counts of terrorism threats, each carrying a maximum sentence of five years.

A teacher from Iowa was arrested after police determined she was behind a series of “threatening” handwritten notes that mentioned armed violence on school property.

Katrina Phelan, 37, has been arrested and charged with three counts of terrorism threats, according to the Council Bluffs Police Department. Phelan, who was a teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, attended Pottawattamie County Jail on December 1.

“Council Bluffs Police detectives have investigated a series of anonymous handwritten notes found inside the school, all referring to gun violence committed on school property,” one said. Press release from the police department reads. “Each of the notes would have been found either in Phelan’s class or by Phelan herself, at various places in the school.

According to documents filed by the court, the notes were discovered on November 18, 19 and 23.

“When questioned, Phelan admitted to writing the notes. It was determined that she had neither the intention nor the means to carry out these threats. In at least one of the notes, Phelan, said posing as an anonymous student, wrote that she was tired of being laughed at, “the press release said.

Phelan said she wrote three of the four notes, but did not recall writing them, according to an affidavit cited by KETV. She said she wrote the notes “out of worry, worry and frustration at the lack of control in her class,” the affidavit reads.

Jon Joseph Narmi, a lawyer listed for Phelan, did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.

The high school cut ties with Phelan, telling parents in a letter that the source of the “threat notes” was a school employee.

“The employee has been charged with a felony, has voluntarily surrendered to police and will no longer be employed by Council Bluffs Schools,” principal Bridgette Bellows wrote in the letter, seen by KETV. “We want all students, parents and staff to have confidence that our schools are safe and supportive environments.”

Phelan faces up to five years in prison for each of the three charges against her.

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