Since March 15th, we have had nine bomb threats in five of our schools. Our community is concerned and upset, as I am. We have a long history of highlighting our excellent school system, and the behavior of 11 of our students is embarrassing to say the least.
I need each student to monitor their own behavior and report to an adult immediately any behavior they see that could involve writing a note or messages on any school wall. I also want you to listen to your classmates to determine if there is any talk about making a bomb threat. Please tell your teachers if you hear of any prank, joke, or threat. If you see something, please say something.
I want you to know that the adults will keep you safe. Our buildings are safe places. Please follow the directions your teachers give you always, but especially in an evacuation. These 11 students have caused the rest of you to feel unsafe and have caused many younger students to cry. We must band together to stop these pranks.
Two students have stood before a judge and been sentenced already. The others will stand before a judge soon. These students will have a felony charge on their record and have been long-term suspended from their schools. The students convicted must attend a juvenile justice program to receive their education, and they will have many hours of community service and probation. There will be mandatory counseling. Students convicted cannot be on school grounds or attend any games or special events. So, please do not think about writing anything on a note or school wall that will cause you to be in this kind of trouble.
Over the past few weeks, we have used resources that should have gone to others in need. Our law enforcement and emergency personnel should have been helping others. We have wasted money, and the parents of the 11 students may be sent a bill for the resources used. In certain situations, parents can also be legally charged for their children’s behavior.
We have lost hours of instruction, missed extracurricular activities, and scared our parents, friends, and community. We have been late to lunch, lost PE, created traffic jams, and caused havoc in our community. And, for what?
I, as your superintendent, will always keep you safe through an evacuation, but I will NOT dismiss school. We will have instruction off-site, if need be. Please help me stop your friends from causing this unnecessary situation. If you see something, say something. Report this unacceptable behavior. Students are very tired of these pranks. Do not allow another student to interrupt your schedules and learning or upset your parents and friends. We want all students to succeed and go into the world of college and work prepared.
Please help us help all students.
Dr. Kim Elliott