Another school year is more than halfway over, and once again bomb threats have caused problems.
Apparently literacy is an issue, too. In a recent scare at Riverside Middle School, the knucklehead misspelled "bomb." (Don't ask.)
That threat came from a Lakeside Middle School student who already was serving in-school suspension. He was caught and expelled, and he's being criminally prosecuted, says Riverside Principal Don Putnam. The case is an example of how Columbia County has gotten tough on bomb threats.
Even with tougher new rules, school officials will need to be on their toes: While it isn't official until next Wednesday, for all practical purposes it's already springtime. And when the weather is warm and skies are clear, the bomb threats increase.
Why? The risk of getting caught is still fairly low, and the benefit is time outdoors to enjoy sunshine and socialization while cops search for "bombs."
Under those circumstances, tougher punishment for the fake bombers will only go so far until the little punks are suitably worried about being caught. So here's a suggestion for a totally unfair solution: Punish everyone.
How? Two ways. Because the "bombers" disrupt class and get free time outdoors, any deterrent must attack those two objectives.
So, when the building empties out during a bomb scare, everybody should line up and walk laps around the building or the school track. No talking allowed.
When classes resume, everyone gets a quiz, and the grade counts.
Unfair? Absolutely! But learning that life isn't fair is a lesson itself. The response would turn the school's inconvenience into extra physical education (can't go wrong there) and reinforce classroom lessons.
Even better, making life less comfortable during what has become an unscheduled recess would take away part of the fake bombers' incentive, while giving their innocent classmates more incentive to rat them out.
And when they're caught? Out of school, and into jail. Period. It's tough to phone in a bomb threat with a collect call from juvenile detention.
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