Arizona cheerleaders suspended after posting online 'hit list'

Two cheerleaders from San Tan Valley in Arizona were suspended after posting an online "hit list" of people they disliked.

Two Arizona cheerleaders were suspended after they were accused of posting a "hit list" online.

AZFamly.com reported Wednesday that Pinal County sheriff's deputies were questioning the students.

According to a statement posted on the Florence Unified School District website, one of the students is a sophomore at Poston Butte High School and the other attends eighth grade at Walker Butte K-8.

Florence Unified School District is located between Phoenix and Tucson.

A parent informed school officials about the "hit list" after spotting it on Instagram Tuesday night.

In a phone message to parents and staff Wednesday, Dana Hawman,  director of public relations for the district, said she was "calling about a 'hit list' involving students and a teacher at Poston Butte High School and Walker Butte K-8."

"We are sending this message district-wide, as the current environment virtually assures that the story will be picked up by the media, and we want you to have the facts up front," Hawman's message said.

"Late last evening, a parent contacted Dr. Pappalardo and Mr. Allee by email, notifying them of a hit list that two students had posted on Instagram. 
Nine students who attend Poston Butte or Walker Butte and one teacher from Poston Butte were on the list."

Hawman said that administrators had met with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department early Wednesday morning and that sheriff’s deputies were actively involved.

"Parents of all students concerned, those who created the list and those who were on it, have been or are currently being contacted. Both initiators are already being questioned by deputies," Hawman's message said.

She said "neither student has a history of disciplinary incidents; however, all threats are taken very seriously." 
Both students were suspended pending a hearing, according to Hawman.

"We thank the parent who brought this to our attention for her part in keeping all of our children safe," Hawman said.

The names of the two girls have not been released, according to the Casa Grand Dispatch.

The list included the people the two students disliked," said Tim Gaffney with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, according to AZFamly.com. The sheriff's office said it was taking the incident seriously.

The Instagram post had a picture of a pistol next to the 10 names, none of which has been released, the Dispatch said.

“With recent school shootings across the country, all possible threats of violence at schools are taken seriously by law enforcement,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said, according to The Dispatch  “Parents are encouraged to talk with their children and explain the seriousness of making such threats.”

Babeu said his staff was investigating the case and would submit it to the county attorney's office for "potential charges of threatening and intimidating filed against the two girls."

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Friend us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews