Police say teacher wrote notes threatening Iowa school

December 2, 2021 GMT

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police in western Iowa have arrested a former high school math teacher accused of writing and planting notes threatening gun violence at the school.

Katrina Phelan, 37, of Council Bluffs, turned herself in to police on Wednesday after an arrest warrant charging her with three counts of making terroristic threats were issued for her, Council Bluffs police said in a news release.

Detectives investigated four anonymous handwritten notes found between Nov. 10 and Nov. 23 inside Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs that all threatened to carry out shootings at the school, police said.

All of the notes were either found by students in Phelan’s classroom or by Phelan herself in other parts of the school, police said. Police said Phelan later admitted in an interview with detectives that she had written the notes. At least one of the notes purported to have been written by a student who “was tired of being made fun of,” police said.


Police said Phelan told detectives she had written and planted the notes to try to show that the school is not a safe place.

“ It was determined that she had no intentions or means of carrying out these threats,” police said in the release.

The school district says she is no longer employed there.

No attorney was listed for Phelan in online court records Thursday, and no publicly listed phone number for Phelan could not be found.