Wake County sheriff says at least 7 school threats made this week; charges against students will be possible

25 May 2022

— At least seven threats were made this week against schools in Wake County, according to Sheriff Gerald Baker.

Many of those students made threats online and are being investigated, Baker said. Some could face criminal charges.

“We are tracking them down so we can find out who they are, and [make] sure that we stand in the way, and deter those threats from happening in our school,” he said. “We have to do that because that could be that one opportunity to prevent something from happening.”

Baker says the threats were made at middle and high schools in the district. WRAL requested a list of schools impacted by the threats but a WCPSS spokesperson did not respond.

A majority of Wake County Public School System elementary schools are without an armed police officer. Baker said it’s time that a school resource officer is placed at every school, but he doesn’t think local municipalities have enough resources for that.

The school resource officer program costs $12.5 million, but $11.3 million is picked up by various municipalities. Wake County itself contributes $1.2 million, according to county data.

“Unfortunately, it’s not about if, I think it’s when,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with mental health issues and concerns, even with our young people.”

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office employs 24 of the district’s 75 school resource officers — many who in middle schools — and most local police departments have school resources of their own at the high school level.

Only the Holly Springs Police Department and Apex Police Department provide officers to local elementary schools. Police departments in Wendell, Zebulon and Morrisville don’t have school resource officer programs.

“We’ve got to stop worrying about whether or not someone is going to try to take our right to bear arms,” Baker said. “[We need to] look at what we need to do as a country and as a people to figure out how we are going to control and stop some of what’s happening right before us.”

Holly Ridge Middle School sent out an announcement to all families that a threat was made against a student at the school, no weapon was involved and the threat was not deemed credible. The middle school plans punishing the student that made the threat, school leaders said.

Baker said parents should talk with children and be observant of their behaviors and report anything out of the ordinary.

The Texas school shooting that killed 19 children on Tuesday is the 300th mass shooting this year, according to Dorothy Espelage, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This post was originally published on this site

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