Closer Look at School Threats in Connecticut

NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters are examining the number of school threats tracked in recent years throughout the state. 

The state's Department of Education tracks threats that are met with police response. Threats are defined as verbal, written or electronic threats by someone to bomb, shoot or use other substances and devices to explode, burn or cause damage to a school building, property or harm to students and staff.

In this day and age, school threats come in by different ways: spoken, written, texted, phoned in or posted on social media. 

NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters obtained the number of threats tracked at schools over a five year period ending with the most recent numbers available for the 2014-2015 school years.

The trend reveals the amount of school related threats are, for the most part, declining.

Starting in 2010-2011 that school year shows 88 school and bomb threats total.

The next year has the only increase in this period, with 90 reported threats altogether. The third year shows a 20 percent decline of reported threats, capping off at 72 threats. Followed by a significant drop in the 2013-2014 school years, at 39 school threats reported. And the most recent school year, 2014-2015, with just 35 school threats-bomb threats total.

State officials said school districts have not yet reported threat totals for the current academic year, but so far NBC Connecticut has covered at least 17 threats this academic year.

The school district with the highest number of threats in a single year was Shelton with 10 reports in the 2010-2011 year.

A State Department of Education spokeswoman, Abbe Smith tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, "Student safety and well-being are a top priority for schools and it is critical that districts have strong protocols in place for responding to threats and emergencies. While we are pleased that the number of threats has trended downward in recent years, we must remain vigilant and ready to respond smartly and swiftly when incidents happen."

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