Ex-husband accused of threatening to kill school employee, leading to school closure

Burch (Mecklenburg County Jail)
Burch (Mecklenburg County Jail)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte elementary school was closed Tuesday after a school employee's ex-husband threatened to kill her, according to officials.

Isaac James Burch, 37, was arrested in Charlotte on Monday. Police say he traveled to NC from Michigan after making the threat against a Sterling Elementary School employee.

Sterling Elementary was closed on Tuesday due to the threat. The school, which couldn't provide many details about the closure when it was announced on Monday, released a statement soon after Burch's arrest.

Sterling Elementary School parents say they received a Connect-Ed message from the district on Thursday about a threat. Parents wanted to know if there was a concern on Thursday why did it take Tuesday before the district took action.

The safety and security of all CMS students and staff is top priority every day. CMS takes every potential threat seriously and responds with an abundance of caution and as needed to ensure the security, safety and well-being of all students and staff.

CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox responding to his decision to close the school.

First time in my career in over 15 years as a superintendent," Wilcox said. "We close one school for a safety and security reason. It was not an easy decision to come to but on another hand it was very easy when I couldn't guarantee the safety of the children and the adults - it really became an easy decision.

"It wasn't until we actually had credible knowledge," the superintendent said. "That we really said that we are going to close school."

Wilcox says domestic violence can happen to any of the district's roughly 19,000 employees. He says he will use Sterling Elementary as an example.

"In this case we made the right decision to keep kids safe," Wilcox said. "We'll review every situation going forward in a similar way and if it's warranted we will do it again and if it isn't warranted - we won't."

The school will re-open and operate on a normal schedule on Wednesday.  Counselors will be at the school Wednesday to help students or staff who may have a tough time dealing with this threat.

Burch is being held on a $60,000 bond and will be extradited back to Michigan on a felony fugitive warrant.

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