Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis said he wants parents to know the district is taking online threats to Clay Schools seriously and his staff is actively working to ensure all buildings are secure.
Davis said over the last calendar year Clay Schools has received about a dozen threats, and almost half have been since the Parkland shooting last week.
“I would say over the last week we’ve had between four or five,” Davis said in a press conference recorded by our partner News4Jax.
He said the district has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to these threats.
“Understand that we will not tolerate inappropriate behaviors, including idle threats, whether they’re made verbally or whether they’re made in a written fashion that leads to disruption on the educational environment,” he said.
District punishment can range from suspension to expulsion. In addition to monitoring children’s social media, Davis encourages parents and caregivers to also talk to them.
“I ask you to take five to 10 minutes a day to engage with your child,” Davis said. “Ask them what they are doing every day in our schools. What are they learning? How did their interactions go?”
He urges parents and students to utilize Clay’s free resources including psychologists, motivational coaches in junior highs and other mental health services.
He asks people to report any suspicious activity, but not to spread around false information on social media.
Clay County is far from unique. Threats have been received by many schools across Florida. Our sister station, WGCU Public Media in Fort Myers, has put together a map showing the threat locations, which can be seen here.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at email@example.com, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.