There's no messing around with threats to schools. A fourteen year old Texas teen may have learned that lesson the hard way this week, as police in Pearland, Texas (outside of Houston) arrested the student for allegedly making a threat against Berry Miller Junior High School on Snapchat.
What Was the Threat?
"It was something along the lines of, "Don't come to school tomorrow," alluding to the fact that he was going to bring a gun," said Officer Jason Wells of the Pearland Police, according to Click 2 Houston. Details are still emerging.
Police began investigating after a parent reported that her children received a message over Snapchat, a social media platform used for messaging and sharing images and videos.
An arrest followed and charges were forwarded on to the Brazoria County District Attorney's Office. The student faces juvenile charges of making terroristic threats and parents received a letter from the school district about the incident.
Terroristic Threats Online?
Making threats of violence is against the law. This is true for threats made online or elsewhere, and joking about such threats is never a good idea. It's one of those jokes that might sound funny to a fourteen year old texting his friends but won't sound funny at all when parents call the cops.
State law may require threats to include a threat of great bodily injury or some level of specificity in to meet the high standards for a criminal conviction.
Juveniles face criminal charges under a separate system and generally face lesser punishments than adults on account of their age. The idea is that kids are still kids and shouldn't be held to the same standards as adults.