Bomb threats plague schools

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2019

According to a post on the CCPS Facebook page, a bomb threat was reportedly discovered in the bathroom at Randolph-Henry High School March 13. As a result, students were once again moved to Central Middle School for safety’s sake until the school was swept and cleared by Charlotte County law enforcement. The sweep did not turn up any explosives or suspicious devices.
Two prior but similar incidents March 12 at Central Middle School prompted Charlotte County law enforcement to sweep the building according to procedure. Nothing, however, was found.
The rash of bomb threats is taking their toll, but it may not be where expected.
Investigator Johnny Wright spoke with The Charlotte Gazette by telephone a few days after the most recent incident. What he had to say was a little surprising at first; “I was at the school trying to help clear the scene so the students could get back to their classes and back to work. You couldn’t help noticing the looks on their faces. I could tell they were disgusted; just fed up with all the disruptions.” He went on to explain that the students were in the process of taking some pre-college testing and were trying to keep their mind on what they were doing.
Disruptions to the normal, productive school day have become a major concern for Charlotte County School Administration as well. Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard sent the following letter home with students for parents to read and review with their children.
March 13, 2019
Dear Parents,
The School Board and Administrative Team of Charlotte County Public Schools are requesting that parents engage their children in discussions on the current rash of bomb threats occurring within our schools. We are hopeful that parents can help to make students understand how these threats have a serious impact on the well-being of our school system and community. Here are a few talking points that might help you begin this conversation.
~The interruption of instruction hinders student learning and puts added pressure on both students and faculty members.
~When students are displaced, interruptions in lunches, medication administration, extra-curricular activities and sporting events can occur.
~Threats cause anxiety and unnecessary worry for students, parents and faculty members.
~Local law enforcement resources are being pulled away from our communities to investigate and clear buildings.
~Students who are found guilty of making a bomb threat are subject to swift and strict disciplinary action. The punishment for students participating in making bomb threats may include the removal of the offending student from daily school attendance and removal of the student’s privilege of participating in all school-related activities for approximately one year. Students who make bomb threats may also be subject to legal action.
We remain committed to providing your child a safe and secure learning environment. It is our hope that you will partner with us in educating our students on how serious these threats can be.
Superintendent Leonard and the Charlotte County School Board