A Puyallup teacher accused of threatening to shoot and kill students previously cursed at children on campus and stormed out of a personnel meeting, according to court documents.
Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday charged Julie Hillend-Jones, 58, with felony harassment.
A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf at arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court. Commissioner Craig Adams ordered Hillend-Jones jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail. Adams also forbade her from going within 500 feet of Emerald Ridge High School and from having any contact with staff or students there.
Hillend-Jones, who teaches math at Emerald Ridge, was arrested at her Puyallup home Wednesday morning before school started.
Although she has no criminal record, officials said they consider her “a threat to community safety” and believe she will hurt somebody or try to intimidate witnesses, records say.
Charging papers give this account:
Hillend-Jones previously filed a PTSD workers-compensation complaint and was on the phone with her caseworker Tuesday evening.
When told those types of complaints are not often covered and Hillend-Jones might need to go through her own insurance, she replied, “I’m gonna shoot the kids,” records say.
The caseworker repeated the words to clarify, and Hillend-Jones again allegedly threatened her students.
She hung up after the caseworker told her it was not OK to say such things.
The caseworker immediately called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
When the high-school principal was notified, Hillend-Jones was placed on administrative leave.
Deputies went to Hillend-Jones’ home Wednesday morning, and her husband reportedly was not surprised law-enforcement officers wanted to speak with his wife.
“My wife is not right, right now,” he said, according to charging documents.
Hillend-Jones could not explain to deputies why she made the threat but complained that paying for treatment herself would cost about $8,000.
Deputies asked her to fill out a written statement regarding the threat, and she printed three pages she’d already done, including a timeline of the conversation with the caseworker.
“When told that she was under arrest and going to jail, the defendant informed (deputies) that he could not have the statement and that it was (expletive) that she was going to jail,” records say.
Hillend-Jones claimed she did not understand her rights and threatened to kill herself.
The investigation determined Hillend-Jones has previously used profane language against students and earlier this year stormed out on the school’s vice principal during a meeting about Hillend-Jones’ performance.
Prosecutors said they plan to request the judge bar Hillend-Jones from Emerald Ridge and order her not to have contact with students or possess weapons.
No guns were found during a search of the math teacher’s house.