School district praises students for speaking up after ‘credible’ threats

Middle TN

DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) — The threat of school violence is a scary reality school administrators like Steve Sorrells with Dickson County Schools try to be prepared for at any moment.

“It’s an unfortunate trend that we’re seeing across the country,” Sorrells said.

“The worst thing we could do is say that could not happen here.”

But, it almost did, according to Dickson police.

In the last six months, police say three credible school threats were made by students at Dickson County High School.

All three were prevented by students speaking up and telling an adult.

“We got in front of it before something bad or critical could have happened,” Sorrells said.

“We’re proud of our students for stepping up,” said Dr. Danny Weeks, director of Dickson County Schools.

The first threat was made in March, according to police.

The other two were made in August.

Police aren’t saying exactly what the threats were but say they included plans to commit violence at the school.

“If it is directed towards our school system, we do take that seriously,” Weeks said.

Weeks says they started hanging up posters to encourage students to speak up.

“It’s not tattling,” Weeks said. “It’s not them trying to get somebody in trouble, but it’s actually reporting to help us solve a problem.”

The “See Something, Say Something” campaign started in August.

“There’s always somebody who knew something prior to those events,” Sorrells said.

The school district also has an app called “Stop It” where students can anonymously report threats and other issues.

“School needs to be a safe place for all of our staff, all of our students,” Weeks said.

The three juveniles charged with making threats were cited.

Their names are not being released because of their ages.

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