Fla. sheriff says parents will be held financially responsible if child makes threat of violence

Fla. sheriff says parents will be held financially responsible if child makes threat of violence
A Florida sheriff says that parents will be held financially responsible and accountable if their children make threats directed at peers or schools. (Getty Images)

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood has a solution to end threats made by Florida teens against schools: hold parents financially responsible for their kids’ actions.

What are the details?

In a Friday statement, Chitwood told WESH-TV that the parents of school students making threats against others or schools at large would quite literally pay.

“Last week, I said, ‘You don’t want me raising your child. You don’t want me involved in your family life.’ Well, now you have me, because yesterday was just out of control,” Chitwood said in response to the four calls he received on Thursday that pertained to kids making school threats.

All four calls resulted in arrests, according to WESH.

The station reported that each sheriff’s call costs a minimum of $1,082.

In response to the influx of calls of this sort, Chitwood plans to hold students — or their parents — responsible in paying the cost of the sheriff’s office having to respond to cases in which students make school-related threats.

“You want to act like a knucklehead? You’re going to be a knucklehead in handcuffs,” Chitwood said, according to WFTV-TV. “And I’m telling the parents, sit your child down and tell them. You don’t want Chitwood raising your kid, because if Chitwood is raising your kid, the only jewelry they’re ever going to have is a pair of handcuffs on them.”

He added, “I’m imploring parents. If you tell your kids to knock it off, they’ll knock it off. If you put the law down at home, then I don’t have to raise your kid, you don’t have to worry about being fined.”

That fine could increase depending on the severity of the threat: WFTV reported that activating a bomb squad in response to a bomb threat can cost upwards of $10,000.