School Safety: A Shared Responsibility
Public Schools of Robeson County Staff, Students, Parents, and Community Members:
Rumors of alleged threats have been circulating about the Public Schools of Robeson County. These constant rumors are hurting our schools, employees but most of all our students. Today, several rumors circulated on social media about alleged bullying, harrassment, discrimination, acts of violence, student arrests and weapons on the campus of Purnell Swett High School. Information spread by parents and students, while uncorroborated, necessitated an escalation in police response to the situation, in order to ensure student safety.
Robeson County Emergency Management and the Robeson County Sheriff's Office were aware of the rumors concerning Purnell Swett High School. Both agencies assessed the situation and there was no credible evidence to support the rumors. We found there was never any real danger to our students. Today at Purnell Swett High School, the school did not go on lockdown; no students were arrested; weapons were not found on the school’s campus; and unfortunately, our students lost valuable instructional time.
Threats to our students and staff and the intentional release of false information are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Any threat or false statement made for the purpose of creating fear or causing a disruption to the educational process will be treated seriously. Students who make threats or intentionally spread false information will be disciplined, removed from school grounds and/or charged accordingly. Therefore, the intention of this letter is to notify all of our parents and guardians that school district officials (in coordination with responding law enforcement agencies) will pursue immediate legal charges for false threats, attempts to jeopardize the orderly administration of the district/schools or attempts to incite a riot, to the absolute fullest extent of the law, against anyone, including students. Moreover, we will ask that the prosecution of these individuals be swift and their punishment severe. Because of our rigid and far-reaching stance on these acts and crimes, I implore you to discuss today’s events with your child as soon as possible. Make him/her fully aware and emphasize its seriousness.
As always, student safety and security are of the utmost importance for our schools. District leaders, school administrators and local law enforcement officials are determined to put a halt to these repeat willful acts that substantially interfere with our schools and daily operations. We want everyone to continue to respectfully “say something if they see or hear something”. Together, we can prevent these unnecessary, dangerous, and disruptive acts and crimes from victimizing our schools.
We appreciate your partnership in keeping our schools the safest place for children to learn and grow.