ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins sent a message to families this weekend that making false threats against their schools can have serious consequences.
The message was sent to OCPS families on Saturday.
This warning came after incidents at three separate high schools across Orange and Seminole counties resulted in at least 14 students arrested for violence or threats on Thursday.
Jenkins stressed that any sort of threat, real or prank, will be not be tolerated.
The full statement reads:
Like many districts across the state and country, in recent weeks we have experienced an increase of students making false threats against their schools. Some may think of it as a prank, but we take it seriously and must engage a formal threat assessment when we become aware of the threat. It doesn’t matter if they say it, text it, write it, snap it, or post it on social media children who make threats can face serious consequences according to our Code of Student Conduct and through law enforcement. Nobody wants a police visit to their house over a foolish prank. It also means a waste of precious resources and undue stress on students and staff. Pulling a false fire alarm also has severe penalties.
As we enter the last week of school prior to winter break, please talk to your student regarding safety expectations and remember to check their backpacks for items that are not allowed on school property. Students or parents should inform school staff immediately if they hear of any threat or suspicious activity. Your partnership will ensure that we maintain an orderly and positive learning environment for our students.
Thank you for your support and have a great weekend,
Superintendent Barbara Jenkins”