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Actions by the few affect the many

November 7, 2012
In the wake of a series of several serious hoaxes, many in the community are fed up. None more so than Boundary County School District 101 Superintendent Dick Conley. He sincerely detests that a lot of great students are being daubed with the rough brush of what appears to be a single classmate, at most a few, and he sincerely regrets that so many will pay the price.

"I haven't really been here that long," Conley said, "But I've grown used to hearing how great the students of Boundary County are. No matter where they go, a game, a tournament, an academic event, I've always taken calls giving the highest compliments to our students ... how well behaved, how well mannered, how sportsmanlike."

He is concerned, he said, that all the good things accomplished by the students of this district, many and varied, will be overshadowed by the poor reputation invested by all the hype and hoopla of being known as "that school with all the fake bomb threats."

Whoever is perpetrating the scandal has, for a time, the upper hand. Neither the district nor the local community can afford to take the threats lightly. If they get complacent, people, our kids and our teachers, could die.

No matter how juvenile or far fetched, no threat can be ignored, as the tragic headlines of recent years bear witness, so each results in an overwhelming response, unneeded so far.

When it comes to the safety of  our kids, safe will always be better than sorry, and cost isn't factored in until after.

And the cost is dear. The taxpayers will bear that burden, a cost not included in the budget.

According to Conley, students will, too. And they won't like it.

"It's clear that, as a whole, our students aren't capable of supervising themselves," he said. "As a result, we will supervise them more."

A student needing to go to the restroom will no longer be able to get up and run; if he or she leaves without signing out of class, telling where they're going, when they'll get there and when they'll be back, eyes will be upon them.

Every hour, restrooms will be inspected; if a "note" is found, police won't have to sort through the more than 1,500 student's pictures to see who went in; they'll have a much condensed group of potential suspects.

It may sound arcane.

If the evidence holds, some kid is depriving students of an education and wasting the time and money of a county.

And if it's discovered that someone knew and didn't say? Yep ... a federal offense.

"Parent's don't understand how very serious this is," Conley said. "This won't be viewed as a prank."
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