School counselors talking with students and parents about threats

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Many schools have counselors on staff. And one of the things they're talking with students about more frequently is threats. We spoke with a counselor at a Toledo high school about the recent rash of threats and what may behind them.

The number of school threats here in northwest Ohio has increased significantly since the mass shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida.

Virgie Hamrick is an academic counselor at Start High School.
She's not surprised by the recent rash of threats, "I think there's certainly a copycat thing going on. They are trying to create chaos. When you do something like that you feel like you have control and power."

Hamrick says she's gotten calls from parents and talked with students about what happened in Florida and the threats here. She spoke with a student about it yesterday, "I had to work with her and tell her that it's normal that she was feeling this way. You have to give them time to talk and be an active listener. Letting them talk and process is very important."

Hamrick says while there has not been a credible threat at start she says there has been increased security in recent days in addition to the school resource officer. Hamrick says there are a number of factors that go into someone making school threats, "Sometimes with young people they don't have the maturity and their brain is not fully developed like an adult. I think those factors feed into a lot of that."

Hamrick adds that everything from low self-esteem to social isolation and poor grades in school to a difficult home life can also come into play. Addiction and too much time spent on social media are also factors, "They don't connect well with each other The relationship building disconnect we are seeing has caused a lot of issues in society."