School officials in Lake Station, Indiana on Monday said that they were investigating a business instructor for allegedly threatening students with a chalkboard message that said his "guns are loaded."
Lake Station police confirmed to WLS that students at Edison Junior-Senior High School had shared photos of a chalkboard message that one teacher wrote after what they described as a "meltdown."
The message read:
A) You are idiots!!!!!!!!
B) The guns are loaded!!!
C) Care to try me ?????????
According to Northwest Indiana's The Times newspaper, the teacher had taken off a few days for personal reasons and was angered after a substitute teacher gave him a report on his sixth period class.
"It is under investigation by the school district and by the Lake Station police department," Lake Station Superintendent Dan DeHaven told reporters on Monday. "The message was posted on Friday morning and it was directed to the teacher's sixth period class. That class would have come in at 12:30 p.m."
"This was a lapse in judgement," he explained. "I have not spoken to the teacher yet."
DeHaven said that the teacher, who he declined to identify, would not be returning to school until the investigation was complete.
"Any kind of threat, especially a threat with a weapon or words of a weapon, may be a criminal act, and that's what we're looking at," Lake Station Police Chief Kevin Garber insisted.
The school contacted parents by phone on Monday to ensure them that their children would be safe while the investigation was in progress.
"I think he should get fired," tenth-grade student Jocelyne Chavez told WGO. "I don't think it's professional for him to be writing that on the board for his students."
Parent Steve Bellamy, however, defended the instructor for making a "mistake" after being "a good teacher for 30 years."
"I don't agree with what he wrote on the board, but people have a breaking point," Bellamy insisted. "When you don't have control of your kids, you have nothing."
Watch this video from WGO, broadcast March 4, 2013.
Watch this video from WFLD, broadcast March 4, 2013.