No excuse for school threats

To judge by the number of threats school officials in the Northern Panhandle and East Ohio have received during the past year, a distressingly large number of people don’t seem to understand the seriousness of such action.

Well, it is serious, and those caught making such threats should be punished severely.

Another threat was received Tuesday at Brooke High School. It was a handwritten “general threat of death,” according to county Sheriff Chuck Jackson. It prompted evacuation of the school.

School and law enforcement authorities have little choice but to take drastic action in such cases. They simply can’t risk the safety of school children.

Those making such threats know that.

Threats usually fall into two categories: students who simply want to disrupt the education process and adults with grudges against schools.

When juveniles are involved, school officials take their immaturity into account in meting out punishment. Still, it needs to be severe enough to serve as a deterrent.

But when adults make such threats, jail or prison time is appropriate. Ignorance – feigned or real – of the seriousness of threatening a school is no excuse.