MIAMI – School officials in Miami-Dade County had an important message concerning threats, real or fake, made by students.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, school Police Chief Edwin Lopez and several school board members held a news conference Tuesday, warning parents about the impact those threats can have on everyone involved.
"It's unfair, irresponsible and, unfortunately, it brings about long-term consequences," Carvalho said.
Officials said they are building on Florida's "It's No Joke" initiative to drive their point home.
Shooting threats have risen dramatically since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
In Miami-Dade County, 115 threats were investigated last year, resulting in 20 student arrests.
So far this school year, through just eight weeks of classes, there have been 24 threats and six arrests.
Rundle said students who make threats must be psychologically evaluated and likely be expelled from school, among other consequences.
"These are second-degree felonies so likely, they will be detained for three weeks," Rundle said. "Arrest records are lifelong."
It's a message that is not only intended for students, but parents, as well.
"As a police chief, as a father of a fourth-grader, it's a discussion I have at home daily," Lopez said. "Monitor social media and be careful what you post."