Washington Township Police Chief Rick Core spoke to Indian Lake High School students about verbal and social medial threats aimed at schools in the wake of last month’s situation in Florida.
He addressed the entire school body in an assembly during their LakerTime.
“We don’t have the luxury of thinking ‘oh, that’s just a sick joke.’” He explained. “The words that you say are going to be taken seriously — whether they are words out of your mouth or clicks of a button.”
While there have been no verbal or social media threats regarding Indian Lake Schools, the chief noted other local schools have been forced to suspend or even arrest students who made threatening remarks.
In addition, he urged students to use social media responsibly and to avoid turning there for answers or warnings if they hear a rumor of violence.
“If you learn of a threat, your immediate course of action should be to report it to a parent, school administrator and/or law enforcement,” he said.
Assistant Principal Dave Coburn stressed this point, as well.
“If you are in this school and feel threatened, I want you to reach out to somebody. We want you to be safe, healthy and have a chance to pursue your hopes and dreams.”
Statistics show that in 88 percent of all violent school attacks, at least three other students were aware it was going to happen.
Chief Core also explained the consequences attached to making a threat against a school, including having devices seized by law enforcement for investigation and possible charges of inducing panic and more serious felonies.