Father of Parkland victim speaks out about 'unsubstantiated’ school shooting threat

Updated: Aug. 27, 2019 at 10:18 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The father of a Parkland school shooting victim is saying though threats against schools in Arkansas and Kentucky are “unsubstantiated” they should be taken seriously.

According to our Jonesboro, Arkansas sister station KAIT, the Little Rock FBI office had received a report that a school shooting would occur in Arkansas on Aug. 29. The report also indicated a school shooting would happen in Kentucky on Aug. 28.

This information, however, is unsubstantiated, the Louisville FBI office tweeted Monday.

[RELATED: Kentucky officials address ‘unsubstantiated’ school shooting threat]

Highlands High School Principal Matt Bertassso assured parents who have called that their kids are safe there.

He said the threat for Wednesday didn’t name a specific school or school district, but they are staying aware.

"It brings up all sorts of different kinds of feelings for different people and we wanted everyone to know, we’re aware of it, that it is information we’ve received, and that we’re keeping our eye out” Bertasso said.

A senior at Highlands High School said there is still some concern.

“Is this actually serious or not," he said. “There’s some people like genuinely concerned. I’m honestly unsure how to feel, just with everything that’s going on lately. At the end of the day, I feel really safe here, especially with the changes that were made the past couple years, so I feel like it’s very safe to come in.”

Andrew Pollack thought his daughter Meadow was safe too at Parkland High School.

"My daughter... I’m never going to see her again,” he said. “My daughter was murdered in Parkland.”

He channeled his heartbreak into a book coming out Sept. 10 which outlines why he maintains you have to take each threat seriously.

"A big part of me was buried with my daughter Feb. 14,” Pollack said. “But the parents out there, it’s your responsibility where you put your children. So you need to know what’s going on with your child’s school.”

He said Florida law could be a model for states across the country to help make schools safer.

Pollack said the law calls for an armed guard for every 1,000 students, and with the proper, intensive training arming teachers so they can keep students safe.

"When seconds count, first responders are minutes away, so you need someone to act right then and there,” he said.

Bertasso said he has heard from a few parents asking what the policy is should their kids choose not to come to school Wednesday.

He said the school resource officer will be on site, plus they’ve had other officers helping with traffic in the mornings and expects they will remain on site as long as needed.

"We have security measures in place to help us with these kinds of things and make sure everything’s where it’s supposed to be so students can come and learn,” Bertasso said.

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