Sumter, Clarendon superintendents: Safety is priority in threats of violence

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 2/21/18

After various claims of impending school violence in recent days in light of the recent tragedy in Florida, two area superintendents who have had threats claimed within their school districts pledged Tuesday their commitment to all community …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Sumter, Clarendon superintendents: Safety is priority in threats of violence

Posted

After various claims of impending school violence in recent days in light of the recent tragedy in Florida, two area superintendents who have had threats claimed within their school districts pledged Tuesday their commitment to all community stakeholders to take any threat seriously.

Sumter School District Interim Superintendent Debbie Hamm said in a statement that in all cases, the district will ask law enforcement officials to help it evaluate the validity of a threat. She also said if a student is found responsible for a threat, appropriate action will be taken to ensure school safety.

"If we identify the student(s) responsible for making a threat or perpetuating a rumor, we promise swift and strong disciplinary action and will involve law enforcement as appropriate," Hamm said. "Students and staff must feel safe at school. It also is imperative that we all protect the educational environment."

On behalf of the district, Hamm asked for support from parents and guardians in several ways, including talking frequently with their children about what they're hearing and seeing at school and discussing with them the seriousness of playing a prank, teasing or spreading rumors.

Hamm also asked parents or guardians to encourage their children to report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult at school or to them. If their children tell them of potential threats or problems, parents are asked to notify the school immediately.

Hamm said parents and students may also report information on Sprigeo, a school safety threat online reporting system, which is available on each school's website.

"The first and most important priority of Sumter School District is the safety of our students and staff," Hamm said.

John Tindal said that's also the priority in Clarendon School District Two. He also said local law enforcement are contacted automatically when a threat occurs.