Local parents upset at how long it takes schools to release info on possible threats

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PARMA, Ohio-- Across Northeast Ohio, schools are reporting an increase in threats.

Although the majority are not credible, two parents at different districts are now calling for change after they say they received delayed notification from school officials.

"The worst thing is you're hearing it from your kids," said Parma parent Colleen Dudycz. "How do your kids know that this is going on, but school officials don't feel it's important for parents to know?"

Dudycz said she questions how quickly parents are notified about school threats. The Parma City School District took more than a day to notify parents by phone and email about a debunked threat at Normandy High School. Dudycz said if she was notified faster she could have made the decision to keep her daughter home from school.

"I understand they don't want to induce panic, but I think parents should be kept in the loop immediately," Dudycz said. "When something that could endanger our children is identified, whether it ends up being just a kid playing a prank or it ends up being something more substantial."

According to an email from Parma school officials, the threat happened before the Parkland, Florida school shooting. However, that was not the case in a recent threat made at the Brooklyn City School District.

"They need to let us know as soon as they find out... That should be our right," said Brooklyn parent Ron Paolella. "We need to know, we don't need to be put on the back burner. These are our kids."

Paolella referenced an email sent to parents Wednesday by the superintendent acknowledging a threat that upon further investigation was unfounded. He said there needs to be stricter standards about how threats are reported.

FOX 8 took his concerns to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, who gave the following statement about the way parents are notified:

"Schools are required to tell parents how they will be notified of emergencies, and how to sign up if the school has an opt-in program. That notification happens prior to the opening day of school each year. There is no set standard/requirements to notify parents during specific emergencies, but schools are required to address that in their emergency plans."

Both Parma and Brooklyn school officials said if a threat is found to be credible, parents would be alerted immediately.

More on the recent school threats here

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