In the second half of the last school year in 2019, CNN reported there had been 22 shootings at US schools in which someone was hurt or killed.

It could happen here, too.

With only a few weeks into this school year, Houston County Schools and Dothan City Schools have both received reports of possible school-wide shooting threats.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Department later said there was not corroborating evidence to confirm that a threat had actually been made. Two days ago, Dothan police followed a Dothan Preparatory Academy student to his home and determined the threat to not be credible after finding no weapons in his home.

Both potential threats were discovered however, because a student overheard a conversation and reported it to someone with authority. These students should be commended on their willingness to speak up.

Speaking up isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if one is not sure their ears didn’t betray them. Students may be afraid of getting teased, bullied, or bringing unwanted attention to themselves.

These alleged threats were found to be unsubstantiated, but if they were real, these outspoken students would be heroes. But really, these students should be celebrated as heroes, anyway, and have confidence in knowing the power of their words – in being a “tattletale.”

Speaking up stopped a possible incident at Dothan schools a year ago, and it could very well be what stops school shootings in the future.

See something? Hear something? Say something.

Coming up:

>>The Houston County Board of Education is meeting at Central Office at 5 p.m. on Monday for a scheduled work session.

>>Dothan City School board members will meet at Beverlye Intermediate School on Thursday at 2 p.m. for a work session and called board meeting.

Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by education beat reporter Sable Riley, appears each weekend in the Dothan Eagle and at

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