It’s good that Washington police and Washington School District officials are meeting to determine how best to address possible future threats by students at Washington High School.
Actually, both the school and police appear to have done an adequate job handling the three bomb threats that occurred the last semester of the school year. But usually there is room for improvement and these meetings should help.
What causes a student to make threats? There has to be something in a student’s makeup or life that results in acts such as making a threat against the school. The threats have led to speculation as to why?
Do they think this makes them stand tall in the minds of their peers? Are they attention seekers? Do they have mental problems? Do they know that they probably only will receive a slap on the wrist as punishment? Are they aware that Missouri’s Juvenile Code protects them as far as their names being published is concerned since they are juveniles? Are they motivated by the fact that they know the code protects them in this respect for what is a cowardly act? Are they just dumb and immature?
To make a bomb threat is a serious crime. We strongly believe that because of the serious nature of the crime, once they have admitted to it, their names should be made public. We believe that would send a message to all students and would be a deterrent to others who may have bomb threat ideas.
The juvenile judge can impose restitution of up to $4,000 on a person convicted of a bomb threat. It should be $10,000!
The school does expel or suspend students for making a bomb threat, at least that’s the word making the rounds.
School policy also protects the student who makes a bomb threat from being identified.
We understand the thinking behind protecting a student from being identified (after all, they are young and dumb and will grow up to be a good citizen, so the thinking goes) but if a crime is serious their names should be made public. In some cases, names have been made public.
We realize making names public may not deter some other students from doing the same thing, but it is bound to have an effect on some of them.
To many people it is disturbing that the three bomb threats made at Washington High were made by girls.