Schools, parents feeling tension from school threats

Monday summit will address school threat response

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Threats of school violence are taken very seriously by police, especially remembering some of the tragedies that have occurred at schools in the last decade.

The threat of violence in school is enough to make any parent have some anxiety. Just in the last couple of weeks there have been numerous threats reported.

On October 22nd, a 17-year-old Chicopee High School Student was arrested for using Twitter to threaten school staff and the schools resource officer. 17 school systems in Fairfield, Connecticut were locked down because of calls that a shooting and bombing would take place on October 23rd. And two boys in the eighth grade of a Methuen, Massachusetts middle school – a 13 and 14-year-old – were arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot up their school on Monday.

Police say many school threats are made via social media, and parents 22News spoke with believe it’s because students don’t feel the full accountability of their words online.

Brian Streeter of Springfield, a parent of three, told 22News, “Now you can quickly hop on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever they do, you know. You know if you want this issue we can handle it wherever. And now you have to go, you’re going to see that person.”

During the 2013 to 2014 school year, the State Police bomb squad was called in for 38 different bomb threats according to the Department of Fire Services.

Chicopee parent Yashira Ortiz told 22News, “I think it’s different now than when I was growing up. When I was growing up, there was a lot more discipline. And if it was the same way it was then, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as it is now.”

A fourth annual Safe and Healthy School Summit for recognizing and responding to threats of violence will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on Monday. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and education professionals will be in attendance.

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