Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has received a total of 47 threats so far this school year, which have resulted in nine arrests; the latest arrest occurring on Tuesday, December 18.
In a statement M-DCPS said the these hoax threats disrupt the schools’ educational environment and interfere with police officers’ ability to protect schools from real dangers; drain law enforcement resources; cost taxpayers’ money; and increase stress levels, anxiety and absenteeism.
Barraged by social media threats
“In recent weeks, the school district has been barraged by social media threats most of which have been non-credible,” said Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “Hoax and prank threats of any kind targeting schools makes balancing school safety and classroom instruction difficult. As a community, we have an obligation to encourage everyone, especially children, to use social media responsibly. The consequences of doing otherwise can be detrimental to a child’s future.”
Each threat will be investigated
Miami-Dade Schools Police Department (MDSPD) said it takes every threat seriously and is working closely with other law enforcement agencies to investigate each one in order to determine the validity of the threat and identify the perpetrator.
On average it takes 24 hours, spread over a three-day work period, to investigate these threat cases from start to finish. Simpler cases can be resolved over an 8-hour period with one detective, while others can take more than 40 hours and require several detectives and the involvement of external police and criminal justice agencies. Some cases require close collaboration with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and with M-DPD’s Homeland Security Bureau. Often times detectives and command staff personnel are required to work after hours, some on overtime.