Message from the Office of the Superintendent
July 1, 2022
TCSS Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff,
We are reaching out to provide further information, following yesterday’s discovery of a YouTube video, that contained comments threatening school violence and referencing our area.
The Tuscaloosa County School System will not tolerate threats of violence toward our students or schools. We also will not tolerate racially-motivated language. Our TCSS Code of Conduct outlines consequences for these behaviors. Any student who engages in these behaviors will face the maximum punishment possible, allowable by our Code of Conduct.
Due to federal student privacy laws, a school system is limited as to what we can publicly disclose, regarding discipline of an individual student. However, it is incorrect to equate this to inaction. In situations of threats toward our schools and students, we will administer discipline, while still abiding by federal privacy laws.
Law enforcement proceedings and discipline within the school system are two separate processes. Regardless of what happens in the legal system, our Code of Conduct still applies and will be enforced. The outcome of a law enforcement investigation is not decided by the Tuscaloosa County School System.
When an investigation finds a threat to be “not credible,” that means there is no evidence of an imminent plan to carry out a threat. However, our Code of Conduct carries serious consequences for threats, regardless of whether intent exists to carry out the threat. Students should understand that if they make a threat toward our schools, whether they mean it or not, they will face the same consequences.
In yesterday’s message to our TCSS community, we intentionally did not repost or share the link to the video that contained the threat. The purpose of this is not to be vague. We will not contribute to the spread of this type of content. In addition to threatening language, the video also contained profanity and vulgarity. Upon initial inspection, we also could not be certain the video had not been edited or manipulated in some way by the individual who posted it. For many reasons, it would have been irresponsible for us to repost the video.
The individual who posted the video has since added a comment to his post, indicating that he was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and chose to remove the threatening language from his video. This is a reminder that when you post or share something that someone else has said or done, you may still become part of a serious situation or investigation.
We cannot stress this enough – this matter came to the attention of our school system because of individuals who saw something concerning and spoke up. Once we sent out the initial communication yesterday, others came forward who thought they might be able to provide information to help keep our schools safe. Thank you for caring about our schools and our students, and realizing how important your role is in keeping our schools and community safe.
Again, here is the information for our Speak Up for Safety tip line. This can be used not only for school security concerns, but also if you know of a student who may be in danger.
While we may not be able to share further details about this specific incident, know that is it being approached with the utmost concern for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We wish our families a safe and happy holiday weekend, and we look forward to seeing everyone back at school in August.
Office of the Superintendent
Tuscaloosa County School System