New State Law Contributing To Spike In School Threats Being Reported

Wednesday, September 18th 2019, 10:40 pm
By: News 9

A third student was arrested in connection with threats made to a Yukon school. 

Wednesday’s arrest comes just 24 hours after threats from two other Yukon students forced a district shut down Tuesday.

Read Related Story: 3rd Yukon Student Arrested After Threats Made Against Middle School

A look at Senate Bill 1150, a 2018 law, may be contributing to the spike in reported threats.

“The root of this is generally young people that don’t have the skills necessary to communicate what's happening in their lives, they need help to navigate that they are acting out in a negative way,” said former Senator AJ Griffin.

However, former Senator AJ Griffin said the uptick in public reports doesn't necessarily mean the number of threats has increased. She attributes the numbers partly to the state mandate now requiring schools to report all threats.

“We know about these incidents now. They aren't just swept under the rug, they aren't hidden from the public because of the need to keep the public safe,” said Griffin.

Griffin said deadly shootings across the country are prompting the public to act fast.

“The general public is more aware of “see something, say something,” and we realize when it comes to public safety, we all have to be on the same page and be communicating when we see bad behavior,” said Griffin.

And while the three middle schoolers recently arrested in Yukon will be punished, Griffin said giving them the help they need is key to curbing the problem.

“I think all who care for the safety of the public and care about kids hopes we actually begin to address the mental health needs of young people who are acting out by making threats the safety of their classmates and schools,” said Griffin.

The last school shooting in Oklahoma took place December 6, 1999, in Fort Gibson. Six students were injured.