Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
Pocatello Police have arrested a male juvenile who made threats against Pocatello High School.
The threats were posted on Facebook and reported to police by members of the public who saw them Sunday. Police said the comments threatened violence would happen at the school on Monday, but did not release any specific details about those threats.
The juvenile, who was a student at the school, was arrested Sunday afternoon. He was in custody Monday on a misdemeanor charge of threatening violence against school grounds.
Pocatello-Chubbuck Director of Student Support Services Kent Hobbs said, " We have responded and will continue to respond to any threats against our schools."
Some people would say that what they post on social media is just a joke, but it's no laughing matter to law enforcement.
"It doesn't matter if you're joking or not," said Bannock County prosecutor Stephen Herzog. "The statute specifically provides that the state does not have to prove, as an element of this crime, that someone actually intended to carry out a shooting, for example. Just the fact that you have threatened to do a shooting on school grounds meets the elements of the crime."
The statute Herzog is referring to is Title 18, Chapter 33. It reads, "Any person, including a student, who willfully threatens on school grounds by word or act...to do violence on school grounds is guilty of a misdemeanor."
Law enforcement said the statute is what keeps schools and students safe, especially with the long history of school shootings across the nation. They said you can never just ignore a threat because it may be a joke.
"You have to look at every instance of a threat being made to school or students very seriously because you don't know which threats someone intends to carry out and which threats are just not really motivated by an intent to carry through with them," Herzog said.
"The one threat that you wouldn't follow up on or that you wouldn't take seriously would have dire consequences," said Dianne Brush, community services specialist for the Pocatello police department.
Police said that while what is posted on social media may not always have legal consequences, it could have other effects, and they could stick.
"Any job you're going to apply for, a scholarship to college, people are going to check what you've posted on social media in the past," Brush said. "Those kind of things can come back to haunt you ten years from now."
Police said it's also important that the community never assume threats are a joke. It's important they get reported, just like this one was.
Police are still investigating, but say there is no further threat to the school at this time.