Increase in school threats take a toll on taxing resources - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Increase in school threats take a toll on taxing resources

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online)

Students went back to school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday for the first time since the shooting on Valentine's Day that left 17 people dead.

Since that shooting, the number of school threats across the country has increased dramatically.

No threat can be ignored, so the impact for those on the front lines is demanding.

According to the Educator's School Safety Network, there's on average 10 to 12 school threats a day.

However, since the shooting in Florida, that threat number has increased dramatically to 60 to 70 a day. 

"It is a concern and it does tax resources. However, in this day and age, it is something you have to take seriously," said Chicopee Public Information Officer Mike Will.  

The highest number of threats since the school shooting in Florida comes from Ohio, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.

Such a rise in threats does not surprise David Kuzmeski, Chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at American International College.

Kuzmeski said there are a number of reasons for the increase in threats from people wanting media exposure to a student not wanting to take a test.

Authorities have to be prepared for the threat that could be a potential deadly one.

"Fortunately most of them are probably not serious threats but nevertheless they're concerning given what happened in Parkland," Kuzmeski noted.  

Kuzmeski said the toll on first responders and school authorities is not only economic, but also emotional.

 "They don't now immediately how serious the threat is so it instills a level of anxiety for the first responder5s and school, districts," he said.

With threats increasing, police departments, no matter where they are, will respond. 

"You can't put a price on students’ safety. You can't put a price on staff safety, so it's something the cost is looked at afterward. In the meantime, we take the threat and do what we have to do," Wilk added. 

When you combine all states, there are a reported 546 threats and school incidents in the last two weeks.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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