McCreary Co. elementary employee arrested over alleged threats

STEARNS, Ky. (WKYT) - James Paulson is in the Laurel County jail, facing a felony offense. But, he claims it was all just a big misunderstanding.

“I spent 9 years as a teacher. I have no intention in blowing things up. I love kids,” said Paulson Wednesday from inside the Laurel County jail.

But, police say, when Paulson learned that some of his co-workers at McCreary County Schools were not going to keep their jobs next year, he got angry and started talking about blowing the school up, and that superintendent Arthur Wright was even threatened.

“I called the employee in to get a statement from him,” said Wright.

Wright says he can’t talk about that conversation but it was enough for him to call police who arrested Paulson, who worked as a technology assistant, on second degree terroristic threatening charges.

“With the discussion talking about testing and so forth, it just kind of spiraled up. I think it was fed in both directions, as it came up,” said Paulson.

But police say a witness told them that Paulson said he knew how to make bombs, including pressure cooker bombs, like the ones used in the Boston Marathon. But a search of his home showed no bomb making materials whatsoever.

Paulson says he doesn’t even own a gun.

“Just basically said I was very upset. Some of the cuts going on. I’m going to leave it at that,” Paulson said.

Paulson says he’s no danger to anyone, but he defends his anger Tuesday on financial pains he’s been dealing with and how he’s seeing other educators now going through the same thing.

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