PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Since the start of the school year, numerous threats have been made from many different Bay District schools. The Sheriff’s office as well as Panama City Police say threats students are making can lead to charges from misdemeanors to felonies.
District Safety and Security Chief, Mike Jones, said depending on the threat, there are certain steps school security will take to address the issue.
“We got to call out the troops, verify, is it a capable threat, a legitimate threat. If they say they have a weapon, do they have a weapon in the home, do they have access to the weapon, and do they know how to use those weapons,” said Jones.
Several schools have had issues with threats via social media. Certain requirements are checked before charges are pressed.
“If the threat is serious enough and could be carried out, if that person shows weapons and things like that in some of the videos we see these kids make.. Then yea then we press charges on them,” said Jones.
The way the threat is worded, plays a big part in the investigation.
“When you say the word shoot, or anything that has to do with a firearm then it becomes a felony, that’s a very serious crime,” said Jones.
District staff can even move students around to different schools after threats are made.
“In some instances where the victim is threatened continuously and feels threatened we do have the authority to move children from classes and even from schools,” said Jones.
The Fortify Florida app allows people to submit tips anonymously.
Bay district schools encourages students to contact local authorities immediately if they hear or see a threat being made. “If you hear something, say something.”