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Officials say pandemic-related stress contributes to the uptick in school threats

Posted at 9:30 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 21:31:14-04

NAPLES, FLa. — An unexpected result of the COVID-19 pandemic is showing up as kids resume in-person learning.

Southwest Florida school districts are seeing a recent string of arrests of young students. the latest in Collier County, after deputies, arrested a 12-year old for making a threatening post to Oakridge Middle School.

Officials now say pandemic-related stress could be to blame. Rob Spicker with lee county schools says the stress of starting school again during the pandemic contributes to what we are seeing.

He says the schools have needed to increase the mental health services they provide because of COVID-19.

After the arrest Tuesday, one parent said she's constantly reminding her son to stay on alert. Tami Dimodica, a parent in Collier County, says her son's safety is of utmost importance.

"I talk to them about, you know, staying on alert if you see something, say something," she said. "that's what I think the schools are telling the children too. I think it's important for them to do that."

Spicker says the district and law enforcement will still investigate every threat. all of which can lead to serious disciplinary consequences. It’s part of their fake threats, real consequences initiative that started after the parkland shooting.