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Arkansas law enforcement responds to recent school threats



Little Rock, Arkansas – The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office reported responding to many bomb threats against schools just over a month into the new academic year, some of which it said originated on social media.

However, even phony threats can have negative effects on learning and stress levels.

Despite everyone being safe, the evacuation of Mills University Studies High on Monday due to a bomb threat interfered with class time.

“It’s more of a disappointment that we’re still having to deal with these situations,” Mills teacher Anthony Trentacosta said. “It was right in the middle of the presentation when they came over the intercom to have us leave our classrooms and walk to the stadium to clear the school.”

One of a few dangers in Arkansas, the Pulaski County Special School District has recently had to cope with three major threats.

Even the scares, according to PCSSD Executive Director of Communications Jessica Duff, can be mentally taxing.

“Last week, when I was at one of our middle schools that experienced a threat,” Duff said. “A group of students were afraid to even come out of the classroom when the first-period bell rang.”

The district takes every threat seriously, according to Duff, whether it comes through social media or in person.

“It has disciplinary action ramifications,” Duff said. “Not only within the school district but with law enforcement.”

Threats are serious business, according to Kristin Knox, public information officer for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

“I think that students don’t understand the severity of making those types of threats,” Knox said. “You may be trying to get out of a quiz or upset at a teacher or another student, but is it worth getting criminal charges behind that?”

Additionally, the sheriff’s office requests that anyone who notices anything unusual notify it.

“Even if you hear other students around you,” Knix said. “Tell somebody because you never know what can happen or occur next.”

In addition, the sheriff’s office declared that, as they did at PCCSD on Monday, they will assist in any emergency response.

“Multiple agencies were there in a matter of minutes to ensure the safety of the school, the students, the staff, ” Knox said. “We all work together.”

The school system is now requesting that parents assist and discuss with their children how serious these threats are.

“Just being cognizant of the severity of making a threat,” Duff said. “That it’s people’s lives that are impacted when you do this, and it’s not something to joke about.”

When charging a minor who has been discovered threatening a school, prosecutors are at liberty. A pupil could, however, be charged with a misdemeanor infraction.

A commission on school safety was established by the state in 2021 to produce suggestions for school safety.

The committee’s chair, Cheryl May, informed us that the majority of those suggestions had been carried out. They are still working on things like a statewide anonymous reporting system and more instructions for lockdown drills, though.


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