We nearly just had yet another school shooting). First and foremost, we MUST have a return to community policing. It works. Residents of each community MUST have a place that they can report crimes and suspicious activity to with an absolute guarantee of anonymity, NOT at the discretion of whomever may be following up on a lead. There is no such assurrance on the FBI submit a tip page! You can submit an anonymous tip; however, the site cautions that doing so will signiicantly diminish the credibility.
Without a doubt, we MUST have a branch of law enforcement responsible for scanning social media pages of students for threats to self and others. And these must be proactively followed up on in real time. This heavy burden MUST NOT be left on the shoulders of students, where it currently rests. (This is not a slam on the FBI or other law enforcement. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for these folks! They need funding and the latitude to keep our kids safe!)
I recently ran across a disturbing news story about a social media threat made about a high school in TN. Students saw the threat page – you guessed it – with a gun image! – then reported it to school personnel. The police apprehended the student at school the next day upon arrival. Why was this student allowed to show up for school after reortedly posting, “Don’t go to school tomorrow.”? I shudder to think what might have happened…
The authorities deemed this a “prank,” and the student was charged with “reckless endangerment.” I am not an attorney, but wouldn’t leaving your skateboard on someone’s sidewalk fall into that category? We MUST have tough mandatory sentencing for premeditated threats to our schools. Why is this not treated the same as saying “bomb” in an airport? Are children’s lives less important? Or perhaps those of our educators? A prank, is a relaively harmless joke; threatening mass murder is not a joke. How can we bring these things to fruition to protect our children and our beloved institutions of learning?