Wake Ed

Wake County considers fining students for bomb threats

Leesville Road Middle School and High School students, teachers and administrators crowd the road outside the schools near two police cars during a bomb threat and evacuation in 2007. The Wake County school system may impose fines on students whose threats lead to evacuations.
Leesville Road Middle School and High School students, teachers and administrators crowd the road outside the schools near two police cars during a bomb threat and evacuation in 2007. The Wake County school system may impose fines on students whose threats lead to evacuations. N&O file photo

The Wake County school board could give initial approval Tuesday to imposing fines on students whose threats lead to school evacuations as well as changes that would make it harder for transfer requests to be approved.

The board is scheduled to have the first of two votes on revisions to the Code of Student Conduct that would stiffen the consequences for making threats that lead to school evacuations. School district consequences could include long-term suspensions of more than 10 days from school and being required to pay restitution for the disruption and the cost of emergency responders.

Students would still also face legal consequences for their actions.

The policy change comes as the school district has received 22 threats to middle and high schools in October and November, leading to four evacuations.

The board is also scheduled to have the first of two votes on revisions to the student transfer policy.

The revised policy would give student assignment staff more authority to reject transfer requests as it balances the best interests of the child versus the impact the transfer would have on the schools involved.

Another proposed policy change would expand the number of crowded schools that would be closed for transfer requests. A third change would put students who have already transferred on notice that they’re subject to being reassigned, a situation they normally wouldn’t face.

Final approval for the changes to both policies could come at the Jan. 19 board meeting.

Before the regular meeting, the board will hold a work session to discuss the impasse the district has reached with the Town of Garner that could delay the opening of a new elementary school and a planned renovation project.

Garner wants the school district to pay for paving a stretch of gravel road as it builds Bryan Road Elementary School. School officials have said they shouldn’t have to pay for the paving, prompting the Town Council to consider not giving a special use permit needed for the project.

The Garner Town Council was scheduled to discuss the issue Monday night.

If an agreement isn’t reached, school staff may tell the board that they need to delay the Bryan Road project. Any delay would push back the renovation of Vandora Springs Elementary School because the district wants to temporarily relocate students to Bryan Road while Vandora Springs is rebuilt.

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