Following interviews with 40 students, school officials said they found no indication of bullying.
A warrant from the Ashe County Clerk of Superior Court’s office confirmed that Billy Napier, 71, was charged with communicating threats on Dec. 18.
Melissa Napier, 36, has been charged with second degree trespassing. Both are misdemeanor charges. The charges resulted from an incident that occurred involving the Napiers and Principal Rick Powers on school grounds.
According to Billy Napier, the couple met with Powers to discuss allegations that the Napier’s daughter was the subject of school bullying. Napier claimed that the teasing and intimidation by female bullies had become so severe that his daughter could no longer sleep in a room by herself and suffered repeated nightmares.
“She was just in a really nervous condition,” Napier said last week.
At one time, Napier explained, his daughter enjoyed attending school and often brought home report cards that were chock-full of high remarks from teachers but since then the Napiers have noticed a change in their daughter’s behavior.
Bill Napier said his daughter began acting depressed and disinterested in things she once loved, such as school. As the fall portion of the school year progressed, they believe the situation continued to worsen. His daughter experienced prolonged periods of crying due to the severity of the teasing, Bill Napier said.
Due to the severity of the situation, the Napiers decided to discuss possible solutions to the alleged bullying problem with Powers.
Bill Napier admits that he lost his composure during the heated discussion with Powers. According to Napier, Powers acted unconcerned over the dilemma the family faced and offered the Napiers little solace.
It was during the course of this conversation that Napier made a remark that school officials considered a threat to Powers and the Blue Ridge Elementary School staff.
According to Sheriff James Williams, Napier made the comment that it was the actions of bullies that had caused the events at Columbine High School in Colorado during the late 1990s. Napier admitted that he made a reference to the Columbine attacks and also said something similar to that could happen in schools where bullying occurs.
Napier also said he did not in any way threaten Powers or the students at the school.
“He twisted my words around on that one,” Bill Napier said.
Napier also supposedly told Powers that he was afraid his daughter would start to retaliate against the “bullies” if the taunting continued.
After Napier made the alleged comments, both he and his wife were served with warrants from the Ashe County Sheriff’s office.
Superintendent Donnie Johnson confirmed that Powers and the Napiers engaged in a conversation concerning supposed incidents in which their daughter was bullied or taunted by other students. Johnson also said that Powers and the Blue Ridge Elementary staff proceeded to conduct a thorough investigation to discern if the allegations were true. After interviewing 40 students and various teachers, Powers and the school’s staff could not find any evidence that the Napier’s daughter had in fact been “bullied,” Johnson said.
Melissa Napier faces trespassing charges from allegations that she entered the school building during classroom hours after she was told not to do so. Napier said that his wife entered the building out of genuine concern over their daughter.
Despite the current charges, the Napiers are allowed on school property but by appointment only, Johnson said.
Napier and his wife are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 5.