Potential copycats or pranksters? Either way, phony school threats are surging around the state.
Since the school shooting in Parkland, Fl., threats or concerning incidents have been reported at least 10 times in schools across the state.
On Monday, a 15-year-old girl was arrested and suspended for allegedly writing a threat on a white board at Sheehan High.
These types of threats are all too common after the tragedy in Florida and the message being sent now is ‘stop.’
Like many parents in Connecticut, Shaunna Brown is familiar with the wave of emotions that come when you learn your child’s school has been the target of a threat.
“It’s very frustrating, especially when you’re at work and don’t know what’s going on. You can’t call, and you just worry about your child,” Brown said.
She said Bradley School in Derby, where her kindergartener attends, had an incident last week.
On Monday, a student in Cheshire was arrested on threatening charges.
East Haddam and Old Saybrook also made similar arrests recently.
Last week in Moodus, students walked out to put the spotlight on a student who allegedly threatened to use a gun at school.
Incidents span the entire state and all of them on this map happened after the Parkland shooting.
Ansonia Police Lieutenant Patrick Lynch says after a national tragedy you’ll see copycats emerge.
“Sometimes you have the copycat incidents, sometimes you have the kids who just think for one reason or another, you don’t know why, it’s funny, it’s a way to get out of school,” Lynch said.
But no one can distinguish between someone wanting to play hooky and a legitimate threat until it’s investigated.
Departments around the state are wasting valuable time on it.
“It takes a lot of work, but at some point, we get to the person who actually did it or the computer that did it,” Lynch said.
While copycats may be surfacing, people are also becoming more vigilant. Possibly reporting something they might have dismissed prior to parkland.
“That’s what we want. You see something that doesn’t look right, we want you to report it to the police department,” Lynch said.
Now that severe consequences are being realized, parents are hoping it’ll be a wake-up call to stop.
Many of these threats are made through social media, but police want to remind kids they’re never anonymous.
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