Joke School Threats Prompt Hillsborough PSA

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office releases video

The Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s Office released a video this week in response to a rash of students in Florida and across the country making joking “threats” against their schools that cause real reactions.

Since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, schools around the country have found themselves going into emergency situations over a statement that turned out to be a joke.  For students, teachers, and parents, a school under such threats is a nightmare.

The purpose of the PSA is to let students know the consequences of a false threat.  The video includes the line “make a threat and you will be arrested. We are not kidding.”  Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister explains the laws around these false alarms to students, as not all of them may be aware of the severity of the situation.

When a threat against a school is reported, the investigation takes up a great deal of resources on police departments scrambling to deal with what they have reason to believe is a threat.

The HCSO is also calling for parents to talk to their kids and make sure they know that these sorts of pranks cause panic and could lead to felony charges.