The Slovenia Times

Protocol to prevent school panic

A police officer in front of a primary school in Ljubljana. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

A protocol that determines the course of action in the event of security threats aimed at schools has been put in place two months after an anonymous online threat lead to panic in schools due to what was widely condemned as an overreaction by the authorities.

Each threat will be assessed on a three-level risk scale. Green means a low threat, yellow a medium level threat, and red signals there is realistic risk to life.

After assigning a detected threat to one of the three levels, the police will notify the Education Ministry, which will then send out notices to schools and finally inform the public.

The protocol will improve communication between the signatories, the ministries of education and the interior and the police, which "may not have been the best" in April, Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar said on 14 June.

He described the new system as an important step to making sure schools are safe, which is crucial at a time when "hatred is being fomented in the name of the so-called freedom of speech."

Police Commissioner Senad Jušić labelled the protocol as "a historical moment" when it comes to cooperation by various departments in threat prevention.

The threat that prompted the move was made on 2 April in the comment section on the news portal 24ur under a news article about the deadly school shooting in Finland on that day.

A user with the handle Slava_Rusiji (Glory_to_Russia) wrote: "And on 10 April it will happen here". The portal deleted the comment within minutes and immediately reported it to law enforcement.

On 8 April, the Ljubljana Police Department went public with the threat, calling on schools to be vigilant while saying that such an event was unlikely.

The news of the threat however caused a stir among teachers, students and parents, and most schools beefed up security on the day of the suggested attack while police presence around schools was also increased.

The commenter was apprehended in mid-May. He has been identified as a 36-year-old man from Murska Sobota area. He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.


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