School Threats: Bogus threats coming with real costs for schools - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

School Threats: Bogus threats coming with real costs for schools

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A string of false and unfounded alarms at schools across San Diego and the country have placed students and parents on edge, but these bogus threats are coming at a real cost for schools and law enforcement.

When it comes to any threat to a school campus, either real or perceived, law enforcement takes immediate and thorough action.

From Monday’s graffiti-strewn threats at Rancho Bernardo High to other threats and school lockdowns throughout San Diego County in the past couple of months - which include: Torrey Pines, Vista High, High Tech High and San Marcos High, as well as Mira Mesa High, Granite Hills High, Southwest High, Gompers and Fulton Elementary – the perpetrators referenced the Parkland massacre.

Music Watson, Chief Communications Officer for the San Diego County Office of Education, pointed out that while the safety of all students is paramount, law enforcement resourced deployed to respond to these threats are limited and potentially diverted from other actual emergencies.

A price that schools must pay for the sake of public safety – even when the vast majority of threats are not credible.

“There are a lot of hidden costs that come with threats to schools. There is definitely a cost to public safety. That is time they are not spending dealing with other crimes," said Watson.

Often, concerned parents will keep their kids at home if there is a perceived threat – which can translate to less funding for that school.

“The state provides money to schools based on attendance. What we see sometimes when there are threats is that attendance take a dive and that has a real impact on the bottom line,” said Watson. 

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