Parents petition for changes at Charlotte County Public Schools

Charlotte County parents are worried about student safety. Parents said a series of social media threats has put them on edge. They want to see changes at Charlotte County Public Schools district.

Four hundred students did not attend Charlotte County Public schools, and 500 left early when several threats appeared on social media Wednesday

Several parents no longer feel comfortable sending their children to Charlotte County public schools and are petitioning to make changes at the school district.

“I felt helpless that I can’t help my son,” Carolina Russel said. “I was upset. I was angry. Every emotion I could possibly go through as a mother, I went through it.”

Every morning Russel said she fears the worst that could happen.

“It is scary every day,” Russel said. “Especially when you see these threats. Do I send my child to school? What if I don’t see my child? What happens if something happens? What if my son’s school was this target?”

In light of several recent threats made on social media, these parents have started a petition demanding the school district install metal detectors and make students use clear backpacks like the ones Hendry County already put in place.

“Our kids are being bullied to the point where they don’t wanna go to school,” Lori James said. “These threads are getting out a hand. Us as parents are being proactive in keeping our kids home because we don’t know what’s real and what’s not.”

James said she thinks these threats are tied into the bullying issue schools are facing. She hopes the school district starts to do more concerning this issue.

“They need to,” James said. “And if they don’t, I’m not going to stop here with the petition. I will go to my governor. I will go to the senators. I will go as far as I need to.”

The school district has not confirmed if it will consider the changes these concerned parents have asked it to make. School resource officers are stationed on every campus in the district, and students go through active shooter drills twice a year.

Both James and Russel said they understand these changes won’t solve all their problems and concerns, but they said it would be a good start from the school district.

“My son should be safe in school,” Russel said. “My son should be safe on the bus. My son should be safe getting off the bus walking home. There is no reason that any parent should have to fear that something’s going to happen to their child.”

Reporter:Brendon Leslie
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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