Student punished after punching classmate in the face for making school threat

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CAIRO, N.Y. (WTEN) – A 15-year-old student was arrested after making a threat at Cairo-Durham High School on Tuesday.

He’s not the only one in trouble; another student is now suspended after the incident.

Police are still investigating the nature of the threat, but one freshman girl says it was serious and worries the whole thing could seriously impact her future.

“I feel that he was a dangerous person,” Crystal Williams-Phillips, a student at Cairo Durham High School, said.

Crystal recalls being face to face with a student making serious threats against her classmates.

“He admitted it to me and admitted it to other students.” She says he stated that he had ammunition and intended to harm students.

“The kid had bullets and that was even scarier for me because something could’ve gone wrong if I hadn’t stepped in and done something.”

Crystal Williams-Phillips (WTEN Photo)

She definitely stepped in.

“I punched the kid in the face because he looked me in the eyes and told me that death was a joke.”

Crystal wasn’t joking when she walked down to the main office and told school officials what she’d done. “I went down there and said I understand that I’m gonna be called down so I figured I’d walk down anyway.”

She says the school went into lockdown after her alert, but she was suspended as a result of the incident and now, she worries about her future.

“Code of Conduct says that we’re not supposed to get suspended or in trouble because we’ll be stripped of our honors rights. It means a lot that I am in honors and I don’t want that to be taken away from me. And I understand that punching him in the face wasn’t the best solution, but if I hadn’t, none of this would’ve worked out the way it did.”

Crystal’s stepfather agrees and is ready to defend her actions

“She’s a hero in my eyes,” Jeffery Grover said.

He worries what potential colleges will make of the situation.

“That will be a blemish. They’ll see that she got [honors] taken away because she did this and they’re not gonna look at what she didn’t let happen. They’re gonna look at ‘oh you hit somebody’.”

NEWS10 ABC and asked the superintendent whether Crystal’s honors could be stripped in this situation. The school said it does not want to be punitive and will look into the entire situation before making a decision.

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