Local Rash of School Threats May Bring Big Consequences
Police in Newaygo County have spent many hours investigating several school threats in the area, in many cases, leaving students facing very serious charges.
Local law enforcement takes all threats, including threats to commit harm at schools, seriously. “The threat of terrorism, such as bombing a school or committing a school shooting, is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Similarly, a false report is also punishable by up to 20 years,” said Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay.
It does not matter whether these threats are made verbally or in writing, including those made on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat applications. “We need students and parents to understand that these threats are not pranks. They are serious crimes that school officials will immediately turn over to law enforcement,” said NC RESA Superintendent Lori Tubbergen Clark.
Several charges have already been brought against juvenile and adult offenders regarding threats made against schools. All threats are fully investigated to determine whether they are credible, consuming the limited resources of Newaygo County law enforcement.
While the threats have so far been found to be not credible, even false reports or what a person might call a "joke" will be investigated and could lead to criminal charges.
Prosecutors and school leaders want the students and adults who are making threats to get the message that there are consequences for their actions.