ROANOKE, Va. – Parents are calling on school leaders to do more to protect their children after a number of school threats were made this week towards Roanoke City Public Schools.
This message comes after Patrick Henry and William Fleming high schools were both placed on lockdown on Wednesday. A 14-year-old has been charged with a felony in connection with the lockdown at William Fleming. Lucy Addison Middle School was also under a hold and secure status on Thursday afternoon.
Following the two days of safety concerns at Roanoke City Schools, officials released a video responding to the numerous threats.
[WATCH: Roanoke school officials, law enforcement release video message in response to school threats]
In the video, Superintendent Verletta White says if the threats don’t stop, other things will, like extracurricular activities and homecoming.
“That’s going to make it worse,” said one parent, Alexis Lee.
Parents said taking away extracurriculars could be taking away some kids only outlets.
“It’s only gonna get more riled up. It’s only pushing kids to the streets even more,” said another parent, Delnice Parker.
Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare’s Director of Child, Youth and Family Services, Cathy Brown said when kids experience lockdowns and threats, like the ones seen this week, it can disrupt their studies long term.
“It’s really hard to focus on your academics when there is a perceived threat and rumors go around. And I think that may just be as bad as whatever the situation may be,” said Brown.
Which is why parents are calling on school leaders to enforce other safety measures, like clear book bags and metal detectors.
In hopes of preventing more damage from being done.
“You’re trying to punish these children as a whole. Not every child is guilty of these things and that’s not fair. It’s like you just want to have a quick fix. What are you teaching those children then,” said Lee.
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