Hampton Roads school division leaders are banding together to send a simple message to public school students: Threats, including social media threats, are dangerous and will not be tolerated.
Sadly, following national tragedies, such as last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., it is not uncommon for school divisions to see an increase in threats and rumors about threats of physical harm involving students, teachers and staff. This has been the case for many divisions here in Hampton Roads.
A total of eight students attending public school in Hampton Roads have been arrested by police recently for making threats against school, including a Kemsville Middle School student.
In a joint letter to parents from 10 of the local school divisions, area superintendents shared that students who make threats will not only be subject to school discipline, but also possible criminal charges.
In a joint letter to parents from 10 of the local school divisions sent out today, area superintendents shared that students who make threats will not only be subject to school discipline, but also possible criminal charges. The divisions work closely with local police to take swift and immediate action when a threat is reported.
In the letter, the superintendents also shared tips to parents and families on how they can partner with schools to provide safe environments for students to learn and grow.
These tips include being aware of your child's social media presence and stressing to children that threats are not taken lightly and bear serious consequences.
"Again and again this week, we have seen examples of our students using poor judgment online," said Dr. Aaron Spence, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools. "There is no excuse for this behavior, and as a school community, we must speak out against such insensitive and fear-inducing action. Any threat of violence is not only not funny, it is not appropriate and not acceptable."
Sun stock image of a rifle.