It was just last year when more than 10 schools in the city of Bristol were hit with a fake bomb threat.
During the height of the threats, it was common to see one or two per day.
It wasted a lot of resources, and now the administration has invested in technology that it is hoping will make sure this doesn’t happen again.
There were 11 threats in total, and the cost of the response soared into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Threats of holding parents legally accountable still didn’t stop some, until a few culprits were caught.
“Some parents panicked. They thought maybe those threats were genuine. When the third or fourth one hit, it was a behavioral issue,” said parent Michelle Gillespie.
“We held expulsion hearings on all the students that we knew made the bomb threats,” Deputy School Superintendent Susan Moreau.
Now at the beginning of the new school year, Bristol is rolling out a zero tolerance policy and has gotten the word out through assemblies at all of the schools.
“Particularly, our younger children, because that's where a lot of the threats came from. The younger children really didn't understand the ramifications of making this kind of threat,” Moreau said.
She added that students, parents and faculty should know the city means business and that it has installed more security cameras and has strict new sign-in policies that will help pinpoint those who lodge the threats.
“We can actually look at footage and see who has written the bomb threat,” Moreau said.
“The administration really has buckled down and I think that will correct the behavioral issues,” Gillespie said.
Students should say something if they see something suspicious, and know that any false threat won’t let school out any earlier.
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