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Making School Threats is Not a Joke: Here’s Why.

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Making School Threats is Not a Joke: Here’s Why.

Gabriel Kress

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Despite the horrific nature of mass shootings, especially that which just occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, students around Florida and across the United United States are increasingly making threats of violence to their schools. Whether it be a desperate and cruel attempt at gaining attention or a real threat in and of itself, these students are facing harsh penalties, both in school and under the law.

In Volusia County alone there are 15 students facing charges after making threats of violence to their schools. As each of these threats cost police and other emergency services both money resources to respond to, offenders will now pay a fine for creating such havoc. In Volusia County, the minimum cost of police response for one of these threats is around $1,000, and a bomb threat could cost up to $10,000 if a bomb squad is called. Volusia County Sheriff, Mike Chitwood, is warning students that severe consequences come from creating these hoaxes and threats. On top of owing thousands of dollars for police response, the 15 students charged in Volusia County will be facing felonies, a crime that will stay on their record for life.

As copycat threats are spiking all across the nation, schools and school districts are taking extra precautions to keep students out of harm’s way. Superintendent Piera Gravenor, of the Delsea Regional and Elk Township school districts in New Jersey, decided to close all operations on Thursday, March 1st, in response to a threat received the night before. Instead of trusting that police would handle the issue, Gravenor decided it was better to be safe than sorry, halting education for an entire day. In response to the threat, a ten-year-old was arrested and is facing charges in Franklin Township, NJ. Therefore, as a result of widespread fear and angst, students are facing a threat to their education and the common freedom of simply attending school each day. For these reasons, all threats must be taken seriously, and be punishable very harshly.

It is never funny or appropriate to invoke fear in a public school, especially after 17 innocent lives were lost at the hands of one deranged killer just last month. It is a time to respect the events that occurred as a sensitive topic, both to those put in harm’s way, as well as all of the grieving families and friends living within our communities. It is a time for discussion and progressive action on the topic of school safety and mental health, not a time to provoke fear and distress at the expense of a cruel joke.

 

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