Fine for student threats one step closer to becoming WCPSS policy

Posted January 5

Making a threat at a Wake County school could come with a high cost.

In recent months, there have been nearly two dozen threats made to high schools and middle schools in Wake County and when that happens, emergency workers rush to help.

"We just had a significant increase with threats to the schools in middle and high schools. I have been disappointed in the waste of resources of police and fire needing to respond to this," said superintendent Jim Merrill.

Schools were evacuated in four cases, and those efforts come at a cost to the district. Under a new proposal, the student who made the threat, and their family, would have to foot the bill.

Merrill hoped getting a bill on paper makes it clear that threats are not a joke.

"I liken this to yelling bomb on an airplane or fire in a theater. This is now in that category," he said. “I want to pass this impact over to the families and help them feel the responsibility for what their children do."

School officials said that the proposal will also include a process for granting waivers or alternative services for students who do not have the ability to pay.

School board members approved the proposal on it's first vote Tuesday night but a second vote at their next meeting is needed to make it official.


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