Illinois — The reports from media outlets all across the country claim they can’t imagine it.
Reporters and pollsters and commentators, even many in the general public, say they can’t understand how it could happen.
How could violent threats made against our schools be on the rise since the latest shooting that happened in Florida just this past February.
Fact is though, they are.
Not only have violent threats been on the rise, they’ve risen at alarming levels just since this latest tragic incident.
The Illinois State’s Attorneys Association, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police are being very clear on the topic of school threats, and have released a joint statement on the matter.
“Threatening violence at a school, personally or through social media, is a crime that is punishable by years in prison.”
That reminder is part of an overall statement made that comes from John Milhiser, President, Illinois State’s Attorneys Association; Sheriff David Snyders, Stephenson County, President, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and Chief James Kruger, Village of Oak Brook, President, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police who go on to say;
“The havoc and fear created when someone threatens a school community is real, no matter the intentions of the person who communicates that threat. All threats are taken seriously, and investigating them diverts precious resources. The law enforcement community stands united in making our schools safe. In Illinois that means that threats of violence are no joke and those that make them will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, which tracks threat incidents, to date 1,005 schools have been impacted by threats since Feb 15th, 2018. The Educator’s School Safety Network says, “Typically we track around 10 threats and incidents per day. Since Parkland, we are tracking more than 70 each day.”
What kind of sentences are these copycats receiving?
In February, one teenage boy accused of plotting a mass shooting at an Ohio high school was sentenced to four years in prison.
In Emmet County Michigan Circuit Court Judge Charles W. Johnson sentenced Kevin Wayne Hansen, 33, of Petoskey, Michigan in February to serve 23 months to five years in prison on a charge of attempted false report or threat.
In January Nicole Cevario, 19, of Thurmont, Maryland was sentenced to 20 years in prison for planning a violent attack at her high school.
One Florida man, Kyle Parramore, was sentenced to four years, 11 months in prison for posting a threat to shoot up two schools in Ironston, Ohio. His message to copycats — Don’t do it
Parramore, who spoke with WTSP 10 News out of Tampa this past February in light of recent copycat threats being made at schools across the country, wants other young people to think before making a decision that could affect the rest of their lives.
“I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be really funny. Nothing’s going to happen to me,’” recalls Parramore.
“It’s really not. When you go to prison with a four year, 11-month sentence … actually when the handcuffs go on your wrist, things become not funny very, very quickly.”
“It’s not a joke”, the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police say.
“It’s against the law to threaten violence at schools.”