A troubled art teacher arrested for threatening to shoot up Fort Hamilton HS has been cleared of the crime — but she won’t be teaching class there anytime soon.
All criminal charges against Sabrina Milo, 34, were dropped on April 15 after a grand jury refused to indict her.
“The grand jurors had the courage to say that the facts did not support a criminal charge,” Milo’s lawyer, Andrew Stoll, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Police arrested Milo on April 1 for after she was overheard threatening to smuggle a machine gun under a trench coat — a direct reference to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre — and “settle some scores.”
“It will be Columbine all over again,” she allegedly told a handful of co-workers inside the school’s teacher’s lounge. Witnesses said Milo was sobbing at the time, leading them to believe she was serious.
Milo was charged with making terrorist threats — and was facing five years in prison if convicted. But a grand jury found insufficient evidence to allow the case to proceed.
Milo, who has taught at Fort Hamilton HS for a decade, testified for 40 minutes during last week’s grand jury proceedings, telling jury members she never intended to make good on her so-called threats. Milo also called in plenty of character witnesses — friends, fellow teachers and Fort Hamilton students — who called her a kind-hearted “free spirit” that wouldn’t hurt a soul.
But the Department of Education isn’t sold on that assesment.
The criminal charges may have been dropped, but Milo remains barred from even entering Fort Hamilton HS until a disciplinary hearing. She’s currently assigned to the administration office of another school, an Education Department spokeswoman explained.
Stoll demanded that the Department of Education take the dismissal of the case into consideration and “return this highly regarded teacher to the classroom, where she belongs.”
Fort Hamilton HS students agreed that their teacher serves them better in the classroom than in the rubber room.
“We knew all along that [Milo] wasn’t serious about what she said,” said Nancy Ta, who graduated from Fort Hamilton HS in 2007. “Now she can continue doing great things to help students with promising futures.”
— with Thomas Tracy
©2011 Community News Group