BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Parents of Bay District School children received an alert about a middle schooler threatening to hurt another student with a weapon on Thursday.
School district officials said threats like this are happening more than they’d like.
They’re partnering with Bay County sheriff’s officials to educate students on the seriousness of threats, which require the school to initiate an extensive protocol.
“For example, just offhandedly ‘I am going to bring a gun to school and I am going to kill you’ that may be said in a moment of anger and that student doesn’t really mean it, but we don’t get to decide, nor do we want to decide, this student means it and this student doesn’t. So, every comment like that has to be treated and dealt with as seriously as a threat. I mean it is a threat,” Bay District Schools Director of Communications Sharon Michalik said.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford will be visiting all of the middle and high schools next week to discuss the consequences of disruptive behavior.
They’ll address threats, fights, bringing weapons to school and participating in TikTok challenges.
“We really want to reinforce to the kids, things you see on social media aren’t necessarily things you need to see or do because there are serious consequences. And we want to impress upon them that you can do something that causes you to get completely removed from school,” Michalik said.
Their hope is to prevent students from getting expelled or suspended.
“I think it’s important with this initiative that the students are aware that it is taken very seriously, there will be consequences, and think before you say and if there is something going on that there are people on campus that can help them,” Coordinator of Student Placement Katrina Evans said.
School officials also want to remind students of the “See Something Say Something” campaign.
Bay District Schools has an anonymous tool to report threats on their website.