More students are now being arrested when violent threats disrupt schools

Many of these threats are being made online or by phone but a few are occurring in and around classrooms.

Violent school threats are being made on an almost daily basis, often causing lockdowns or closures and increasingly leading to the arrests of students suspected in the incidents. Many of these threats are being made online or by phone but a few are occurring right inside classrooms.

Police in Henry County, Indiana, arrested a juvenile who allegedly threatened to bomb Tri Jr./Sr. High School in the South Henry School Corporation. Though the school was not officially closed because authorities learned of the threat on a Saturday, deputies swept the school. The suspect was arrested Dec. 9 on suspicion of two counts of felony intimidation because the teen also allegedly threatened to harm another student.

It was hardly an isolated incident. A 13-year-old boy was arrested earlier this month for allegedly making threats—via Snapchat—to commit a school shooting at Carwise Middle School in Florida’s Pinellas County Schools. When the 13-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot the student who received the message, that student told his parents and they called police, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office noted in a press release.

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The suspect allegedly admitted to sending the messages but claimed the threats were a joke as he was taken into custody and charged with written threats to kill or conduct a mass shooting.

An 18-year-old student was arrested Nov. 30 for posting text messages on social media that threatened Waterford Mott High School in Michigan. When the suspect was contacted by police, she blamed a classmate for the threats and showed them a Snapchat video that warned students not to go to school because the classmate had a gun, Waterford Township police reported on Facebook.

The young woman was charged with one count of intentional threat to commit an act of violence against schools and released on a $5,000 bond, police added.

The St. Clair R-XIII District in Missouri was closed for one day at the beginning of the month after authorities were notified of a bomb threat sent via text message through an internet app. The disturbing message was tracked to a student, who, when taken into custody, allegedly admitted to sending the text because they didn’t want to go to school that day, the St. Clair Police Department reported on its Facebook page.

Here is a sampling of school threats reported and arrests made within just the last month:

  • A 14-year-old student in an orchestra class allegedly used a violin case to mimic and threaten a shooting at Van Buren Middle School in Ohio’s Kettering City School District, according to The teen was arrested after another student reported the incident to administrators.
  • Schools in Bemidji, Minnesota were closed Dec. 6 after dispatchers received multiple 911 text messages threatening a specific school and a staff member. Officers arrested a juvenile male “after an extensive search involving several 3rd party cellular re-sellers,” Bemidji police said on Facebook. The boy was charged on suspicion of making terroristic threats, a felony.
  • Kent Roosevelt High School in Ohio was shut down on Nov. 15 after a threat was posted on Snapchat. A 17-year-old boy was arrested the following day on suspicion of making the threat and charged with inducing panic, a second-degree felony, the Ravenna Record-Courier reported.
  • A 15-year-old boy was arrested at Danville High School in Kentucky on Nov. 15 after he allegedly called 911 to report a bomb at the school. Police swept the school and took the student into custody, charging him on suspicion of terroristic threatening, a felony, Danville police reported on Facebook.
  • A 13-year-old girl was arrested after she allegedly threatened, in the presence of a teacher and other students, to blow up Lake Charles Charter Academy in Louisiana. The student was charged on suspicion of menacing and booked into a juvenile detention center, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
  • A juvenile in Shreveport, Louisiana was arrested for allegedly phoning in two bomb threats against Heritage High School, which is located more than 1,000 miles away in Wake Forest, North Carolina, police said.
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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