Horry County superintendent addresses increase in student-made threats

Horry County School parent said the video gives her relief

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey addressed an increase in student-made threats in a video released one day after a deadly California high school shooting.

In the video, Maxey and police talk about the severity of making threats and the consequences that will follow.

Horry County parent Amelia Walker has experienced first-hand the fear that came after a threat was made at her child’s school. The superintendent’s message is something she said gives her relief.

“You think about it every day,” Walker said. “You just pray to God it stop, they have to go to school. I’d love nothing more than to protect them all day long but you can’t, they have to go to school.”

More and more, young lives are taken in horrific tragedies.

Last week, two high school students in California were killed in a school shooting. The 16-year-old shooter also died from self-inflicted wounds.

In the video released Friday, Maxey said over the past few weeks they’ve seen an increase in student-made threats in Horry County and these threats simply have to stop.

“Students, if you post, text, write on the bathroom walls, or tell someone you’re gonna shoot up a school or threaten to cause harm to others, your comments, even those that are made loosely, will be dealt with swiftly and strongly," Dr. Maxey said. "Threats will not be tolerated.”

Every Horry County middle or high school principal is required to show the video to their students.

Walker said her daughter Emily saw the video in school and she said Emily thinks it won’t help solve the number of threats.

“Absolutely not she said," Walker said. "She [Emily] said there are some students that nothing is going to stop them from making the threats.”

Horry County Schools isn't the only area school district to see an increase in student-made threats.

Three students were arrested in Florence County for making threats against against two Florence District 1 schools during the first week of class. Another student was arrested a month later following another threat.

“We have a zero tolerance for threats of any kind and we will prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law,” Florence County Sheriff Williams Barnes said.

The next steps Superintendent Dr. Maxey asks is for parents to talk with students about the video and discuss the importance of not making threats.

Walker said she’s going to stress to her daughter if she hears or sees something to say something.

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