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14 year old with his own ‘List of Jericho’ sparks school shooting concerns in Florida

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There’s a story going around, started from this news report on Orlando’s News13, about a 14 year old who kept a list of fellow students. The boy’s parents say it was his own personal “List of Jericho”, an idea he got to write down names of classmates he disliked based on WWE Superstar Chris Jericho’s popular gimmick. The mother of two of his classmates says the school rumor mill identified it as a “kill list”.

While this is surely not publicity Vince McMahon and company want, headlines about a “Jericho-inspired kill list” seem to be stretching things to make a connection to WWE.

Let me clearly state that my knowledge of the case is limited to the News13 story. They reported a student in Poinciana, Florida brought the list of names to Renaissance Charter School, where he’s enrolled. Officials learned about the list and launched an investigation, which included a “robocall” to the parents of other students informing them the situation was being addressed.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office began looking into the matter, which is where the boy’s family was interviewed and the Jericho inspiration was brought into the story. A week later, no one has been hurt in connection to the student’s list, and a school spokesperson is saying concerns about it being intended as a “kill list” are rumors they don’t want to “proliferate... any further” by commenting on them to the media.

But that’s not satisfactory to Michelle Spangler, the mother at the center of the New13 story. She feels there’s “a true safety issue here”. She explained her reason for thinking so, beyond the talk in the halls of Renaissance Charter, as:

A 14-year-old does not just write a list because it's just a list. We're not in kindergarten, saying, “This kid is not my friend anymore.” He literally knew what he was doing.

Which - and again, I only know what you know, reader - but as someone who was once a 14 year old pro wrestling fan, if I was that age today, making my own “List of Jericho” consisting of people from my school who annoyed-me-but-that-I-had-no-intention-of-hurting would LITERALLY be what I would do.

But, I’m also aware we live in a time where school shootings are something that happen multiple times a year, so I’m not going to fault anyone who absolutely wants to put their children’s safety ahead of anyone’s right to keep a list.

Let’s just slow down on calling it a “Jericho-inspired kill list”, is all I’m saying.

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