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'My mind wasn't made up until now': Mom plans to take daughter out of school amid threats

Pamela West has considered taking her daughter out of public school for two years. After the Parkland shooting, she says she's made up her mind. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

There have been a number of online threats targeting schools in the Horry County School District since the Parkland shooting more than two weeks ago.

Some say they're having an effect on how students learn in the classroom, and on parents.

One Horry County mom wants to pull her middleschooler out of the district to avoid threats.

Pamela West has two kids. She said Friday, they mean the world to her. She and her daughter have decided she's not going to risk it anymore, now turning to homeschooling.

"Anything can happen at any given time and I'm not going to take that risk with my daughter's life," said West.

Her daughter attends Ten Oaks Middle School. Every day, she said, she can't help but wonder if she's safe.

"The reason I keep going is for her, for my kids," she said. "That's it, and if something was to happen to them there's no telling."

She's also been thinking about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. She said she almost pulled her daughter out that day. It doesn't help she continues to hear about threats surfacing within her daughter's own district.

"You never know which of those threats are going to turn out for real," she said.

The threats have made up her mind. She first thought about pulling her daughter out two years ago. The Parkland shooting was the final straw.

"If she's at home with me, I'm homeschooling her. I can say that I did what I did to protect her," West said.

Joe DeFeo, Chairman of the Horry County School Board said it's a growing trend.

"It's not happening to such a degree that we're aware of it, but I know it's happening and I understand every parent has their situation or thought process," he said.

DeFeo says the district and law enforcement aren't playing games. They're doing their best to keep students safe, hoping they never have an incident like in Florida.

"If somebody makes a social media threat like that to the extent that happened in Florida, I'm telling you right now they will be arrested. I know how the local [law enforcement] is going to handle this," he said.

But West said she isn't going to take any chances.

"[My daughter] is my job and I'm gonna do whatever I can to protect her. Even if it means taking her out of school."



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