In the two weeks since the high school shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has experienced a significant increase in the number of threats directed at schools throughout the County. These threats, directed toward other students and/or the school community, have come in the form of phone calls, conversations, writings, emails, and social media. Some of these threats have been direct while others have used suggestive words and/or images. The majority of these threats have proved not to be credible after MCPD has conducted investigations.
Many of the people making these threats have motives that range from wanting to disrupt school activities to making the threat as a prank.
The MCPD fully investigates each threat and works to identify the person or persons responsible for making the threat. In two recent Montgomery County cases, those making the threats have been criminally charged. Charges applicable to making threats include the following:
- Education Article 26-101-Disorderly Conduct/Disruption of School Activities
- Criminal Law 3-1001-Threat of Mass Violence
- Criminal Law 6-107(a)(2)-Threat of Arson/Destructive devices
MCPD urges parents to consider the following points:
- Monitor your child’s social media and talk to him/her about using social media responsibly.
- See something, say something – If you or your child become aware of a threat or other suspicious activity that is concerning, please call police. In regard to social media, please do not share the concerning message – again, call police.
- Remind your child that any threat made will be investigated, even if the child’s intention is to be humorous.
Members of the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County Public Schools continue to work in partnership to maintain safe schools for students, staff, and our community.