Local school district has dealt with hundreds of threats since Parkland

Addressing School Threats

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s been two years seen tragedy struck the Parkland community. Two years since 17 people were murdered on Valentine’s Day at Stoneman Douglas High School.

School districts across the country have seen dozens of school threats since then. Many have been hoaxes.

Manatee County School District representatives say they’ve had well over a hundred threats since Parkland. They say they see about one threat a week in their more than 50 schools.

Just last week they had two, one of them was a third grader who said they were going to go home get a gun and come back and shoot everybody.

It's no laughing matter.

And threats are investigated thoroughly by the schools and law enforcement.

“Just in the couple months after Parkland we received over 25 threats. And we actually had some students arrested,” said The Manatee County School District PIO, Mike Barber.

Consequences for these threats can be as big as a felony charges to getting transferred to another school.

While some students don’t understand the severity of these actions, mental health experts say threats aren’t a joke.

“Sometimes people who joke are angry. But also jokes are a means of coping with some difficult situation. So a person who’s worried about school may joke more about it,” said psychologist, Dr. Eddy Regnier.

He says with the frequency of violence around us it has forced society to take all threats seriously.

“But there’s a point in which we take it too seriously. So that people who don’t mean threat are treated as criminals. Young children. And then evicted from our schools and terrible things happen to them...there’s something wrong with that but also you can’t do nothing and let people make threats and not respond to it. So it puts us in a difficult place,” said Regnier.

Threats aren't being seen or heard mainly on school grounds.

"The majority of our threats are posted on social media," said Barber.

He says they’re constantly monitoring social media for threatening photos or messages.

The district says it’s important for parents to talk to students about the consequences that can come with making threats.