MIAMI (CBSMiami) – ‘It’s no joke’ is the message behind the statewide awareness campaign sponsored by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Miami-Dade school officials say they are 100 percent on board.
On Tuesday, Miami-Dade schools chief Alberto Carvalho held a press conference to talk about school threats and to warn students and parents about the consequences of making such threats.
WATCH PRESS CONFERENCE IN ITS ENTIRETY:
“We take every single threat seriously. We can’t differentiate whether it is a prank, joke or hoax. We investigate all with rigorously,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Last year, school officials investigated 115 threats against Miami-Dade schools resulting in 20 students being arrested.
The cases include threatening videos posted on social media, photos, and messages left on social media sites or sent as text messages or even cases in which weapons are brought to school.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle said a joke could end up in a permanent criminal record.
Threats, real or fake, disrupt learning, interfere with police officers’ ability to protect schools, drain resources, cost taxpayers’ money and increase stress levels & anxiety. Parents, please speak to your children about long-term consequences of their actions. #ItsNoJokeMDCPS pic.twitter.com/vCiKAtQoN4
— Alberto M. Carvalho (@MiamiSup) October 8, 2019
“Arrest records are life-long. There are collateral consequences. Try to get a job, try to get a job, try to get into college,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Miami-Dade school officials recommend that students and parents download the app FortifyFL to report suspicious activity and to use the hashtag “it’s no joke” “mdcps,” always keeping in mind when you see something say something.
Carvalho adds that parents need to be proactive.
“So we need parents to step up and have these conversations with their kids the disruptions that these threats are having on our schools,” Carvalho said.