Parents react to arrest of OS student for allegedly making threats against school

Parents react to arrest of OS student for allegedly making threats against school

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Some people say the arrest of an Ocean Springs High School student serves as a wake-up call for parents. Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter confirmed that a student was arrested Wednesday for allegedly using social media to make a threat against the school.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department told WLOX News the case involves a 17-year-old male student.

This week, students and teachers at Ocean Springs High are thinking about final exams and the upcoming Christmas break. Also on the minds of many is the arrest of a student who is accused of making a threat against the school.

"It makes me feel better about my kids being at the schools. I used to home school, and one of the reasons I home schooled was their safety. So yeah, it's good," said Ocean Springs parent Margarite Chesley.

Coleman-Potter said she notified the sheriff's department after seeing the post on the social media app Yik Yak. She said subpoenaed information from a cell phone company was part of the three month investigation.

In a phone interview, Coleman-Potter told WLOX News: "There is no such thing as being anonymous. With the amount of violence at schools across the United States, we treat every threat as real. The safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority, and we will follow every protocol to keep everyone safe."

"I think the way things are going these days, you never know what's going to happen, and I worry about my children. I want the school to be very active in knowing what's going on," said Ocean Springs parent Tracy Weems.

"In this day and age, no threat can be taken too seriously. I am so grateful that the administration at OSHS is on top of things and prevented this threat from becoming anything more serious," said Chesley.

The parents we talked to say this case has prompted them to be more aware of what their children are doing, especially online and on their phones.

"The kids need to understand that everything they do online leaves a trail," said Chesley.

"I haven't experienced it with my children. Thank goodness. They're not on social media yet, and I want to keep them away from it as much as I possibly can," said Weems.

Coleman-Potter said the district has not taken any action yet against the student. She said the school board will make a decision when it meets in January.

She said one option, based on district policy, could be expulsion.

The public relations firm representing Yik Yak sent us this statement:

We are aware of the ongoing abuse of Yik Yak by some middle school and high school students, and we are dedicated to working with parents and school administrators to ensure this misuse stops. Cyber-bullying and all other forms of intimidation do not align with Yik Yak's mission of creating social communities that benefit the greater good.

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