District Launches “Fake Threat, Real Consequences” Campaign

District Launches “Fake Threat, Real Consequences” Campaign
Posted on 01/14/2019
District Launches “Fake Threat, Real Consequences” Campaign

The School District of Lee County and its partners in law enforcement are sending a message to students; fake threats have real consequences. Students that threaten violence against their school, whether in person, in writing, in a post or in a chat, can and will be arrested.

“Threats to our schools are not harmless, and can be dangerous,” says Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins. “They take valuable resources and time from our school district and the law enforcement agencies who work with us each day to keep our schools safe.”

Working together, the District, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral Police Department, Fort Myers Police Department and Sanibel Police Department created a public service announcement warning students against making fake threats. In the video, all four agencies warn students, “You could go to jail. Making a threat is a crime, even if you don’t mean it.”

“Law enforcement takes all potential threats of violence very seriously and thoroughly investigates and analyze all threats to determine their credibility,” says Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “With a thoughtless remark on social media or a school wall, students risk starting out their adult lives in prison and forever being labeled a felon.”

The PSA will be featured as part of each middle and high school’s morning announcements. Flyers with the “Fake Threats, Real Consequences” slogan will be posted around the schools and a social media campaign will help spread the message. In addition, the District has created a webpage the community can use to help prevent fake threats.

“We don’t want to see a young person start out adulthood with a felony record over an impulsive social media post,” says Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs. “It’s not a joke; always think before you post.”

Students also face suspension or expulsion for making a threat, whether they mean it or not. College applications, scholarships and future employment are all jeopardized. Parents are urged to take this opportunity to talk with their children about the severity of making a false threat.

“Making a threat can no longer be excused,” says Cape Coral Police Chief Dave Newlan says. “They have real and devastating consequences. Law enforcement is not going to tolerate any kind of threat, whether you mean it or not.”

Versions of the PSA featuring the Sheriff’s Office, Fort Myers Police, Cape Coral Police and Sanibel Police can be viewed below.

The “Fake Threats, Real Consequences” webpage can be found here on the School District of Lee County’s website.