Principal: No evidence that bullying played role in terrorism case

By Joe Beck

The principal of Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg said Friday that claims by a student that he had been subjected to bullying prior to being arrested and charged on terrorism-related offenses were unfounded.

“We definitely followed up on it,” Mike Dorman said of the statements attributed to Aaron Trump in court documents. “There was nothing found that anything like that was taking place. We followed up with students, friends and teachers.”

Authorities accuse Trump of plotting a mass killing at the school before he was arrested in late September and charged with one count each of conspiring to commit terrorism, communicating a bomb threat and building a mock device for the purpose of leading others to believe it was a bomb.

A probation officer’s report cited Trump’s expressions of “rage towards several students as he states he was a victim of being bullied by several peers. He expressed his ‘hit list’ in his journals of students he planned to kill during this event.”

Dorman said the school administration followed up on the information received from law enforcement and other sources about Trump’s reports of being bullied.

“We take bullying seriously,” Dorman said. “You use that word, those are things we follow up on. I work very closely with students, and they talk to me all the time, and if they report to me they are being bullied or picked on, that’s not taken lightly.”

Dorman said Trump’s status as a student and laws protecting students’ privacy prevented him from providing further details about the investigation into the bullying claims.

Trump has been in jail since his arrest in late September and is awaiting his next scheduled court date on Feb. 5.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com