“This isn’t a joke; this isn’t something you should consider doing. If you make a threat, there is a very good chance that you will face arrest,” said Gary Levine of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Since the Parkland shooting, school threats have sky rocketed across the United States. Earlier this month (May 10th), the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a student for a threat in Lehigh Acres.
Hello SWFL sat down with Lee County Sheriff’s Office to find out what it’s doing to crack down on these sorts of threats.
“We’ve always taken school threats seriously. We thoroughly investigate them, which is really the most that we can do,” he said.
“We had over 100 school threats that we have investigated since Parkland,” Levine continued.
The department makes home visits during investigations because they never know how real a threat might be.
“We speak with parents or guardians (and) we find out if there are weapons in the home,” said Levine, “We find out if the child has any access to those weapons and then we determine whether the threat is credible or not.”
And for the threats that are found credible, Levine said, “The reality is this offense is a felony.”
“Serious offenses are prosecuted and that is then turned over to our state attorneys office and they too are very serious about these offenses,” said Levine.
The department said most students don’t realize the seriousness of making these threats.
“Going into a bathroom and writing on a wall thinking that it’s being done anonymously – there is always surveillance, there is always a way to find out who did it. It’s not the thing to do.”