A sheriff in Florida announced this week that parents will pay if their child makes a threat at a school.
The policy is the latest action taken after the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland that left 17 dead and 16 wounded.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced on Thursday that the families of students who make threats will be held responsible for paying the cost of the sheriff office’s responses to their cases.
The cost is a minimum of $1,082. The true cost could be much higher, the office said.
The announcement comes after four students were charged with felonies after making threats. That brings the total number of threats made in the county to 15 since Parkland.
Among the threats was a 15-year-old male student at Deltona High School who told a teacher he had a concealed weapon in his backpack, although no weapon was found.
Another case involved a 14-year-old female at the high school who held her hands in a gun gesture, tapped a school employee on the shoulder and said, “Bang bang.”
Chitwood said that parents should sit their kids down and explain to them that making any threat isn’t a joke.
“You want to act like a knucklehead? You’re going to be a knucklehead in handcuffs. And I’m telling the parents, sit your child down and tell them. You don’t want Chitwood raising your kid, because if Chitwood is raising your kid, the only jewelry they’re ever going to have is a pair of handcuffs on them,” Chitwood said.
The announcement drew many supportive responses.
“If the children are getting in trouble, the parents should, too. That’s how I see it,” said Stephanie Hood, the parent of a Volusia County student, reported WESH.
On Facebook, Lisa Rubino said, “Make them do community service too. picking up litter at a landfill.”
Jacky Johnson added, “Keep charging them. I overheard a group saying it was ‘stupid’ to charge them for joking and “they can’t charge and suspend us all”. Maybe they will realize that in fact they can charge them all.”