Threat management policy helps students feel safe

Students who threaten violence against schools charged with felonies

Threat management policy helps students feel safe

Bayleah Vogel

Boone County Schools works with local law enforcement to protect students from threats, reassuring students even as the threats receive widespread attention in the media and online.

Five students in the Boone County school district have been charged with felonies this year for threats against their schools. All of the students were not only removed from school, but were either taken into custody or lodged at a juvenile detention center.

Boone County High School’s administrators have a policy for handling threats that they come across, however they have not received any this year.

Any threat against a Boone County School or student is taken very seriously, according to Boone County High School Resource Officer Bart White. Threats are counted as felonies, which used to be a ten day suspension, but has changed to students being kept in jail.

The threat starts with the school principal, who issues the student a ten day suspension, and then reports it to the school resource officer.

After that, the threat goes through the school resource officer, who investigates the seriousness of the threat. He or she then makes a home visit to speak with the student who made the threat, and their parents or guardians.

After that it is then up to the principal and the rest of the school board to determine how, if, and when the student comes back to school. In some cases, students will have to attend an alternative school before coming back to their original school.

Students who make threats tend to be kept in jail longer than before. They tend to be jailed for seven days or more, depending on the case, White said.

Even as threats receive more attention in the media and online, the system of handling these threats has helped many students at Boone to feel as if they are safe at school.

Boone junior Baylee Gallenstein said that threats made against schools in Boone County are dealt with appropriately because of the fact that they are treated as a federal offense. She doesn’t worry much about them, as she feels as if they are often “empty threats” in the first place.

Junior Casey Collins, on the other hand, takes threats against her school very seriously.

“A threat should be a severe punishment because that’s threatening to murder someone,” Collins said.

Collins believes that any student who makes a threat against their school should serve jail time, and be tried as an adult.

Boone principal Tim Schlotman said that he is ultimately in charge of everyone’s safety and students and staff are “one-hundred percent safe” at all times while on campus.

Schlotman said that the administration always encourages students to report any threat that they hear, even if they report it anonymously.

“If you see something, say something,” he said.