Oklahoma School Superintendents Hold Press Conference On Teaming With FBI To Crackdown On Threats
The FBI, local law enforcement and school officials initiate a crackdown on school threats both real and fake. This comes in light of recent threats that have shut down multiple schools.
Investigators said a school threat made through social media or on the phone will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“You make the hoax, you make the threat, you’re going to be arrested,” said Yukon Public Schools Superintendent Jason Simeroth.
“This is a different day and age, you can’t say I’ll shoot the place up because I’m angry,” said OKCPS Superintendent Sean McDaniel.
The message is clear, no more suspensions or slap on the wrists for those who threaten their schools.
“We’re not about throwing kids away, but at some point, we have to say we want you to succeed in life, but bad choices do have consequences,” said Edmond Public Schools’ Superintendent Bret Towne.
Within the past month, Towne said multiple schools including Boulevard Academy, were locked down due to threats, one of which was called in to 911.
Here’s an excerpt of that call:
Caller: “So, I’m in school right now and I have a gun on me."
911: “Can you put the gun down?
Caller: “No, I’m about to shoot the kids.”
It turned out to be a hoax, but Towne said nothing about it was funny.
“There were at least eight armed officers with AR’s to their shoulders, walking through the school, walking the perimeter of the school,” said Towne.
Simeroth knows all too well the crippling effects of so-called pranks.
“I canceled school for over 9,000 kids because we received two threats in a few hours,” said Simeroth.
Mid-Del's Superintendent Rick Cobb said these types of threats have become all too familiar.
“It’s every superintendent I know that’s experiencing this phenomenon and an upswing in these incidents,” said Cobb.
Together with law enforcement they hope to remove fear from their halls.
“One of the 4th grade students came up to me and said, ‘Mr. Simeroth are we safe?’” said Simeroth.
“There is an expectation that parents have when they send their kids to us, that they’re sending them to a safe place,” said McDaniel.
School leaders are asking parents to sit down with their children to talk about the consequences of their words.