Idle Threat


Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.


BLOG POST #77: This week, I’m sharing research on several similar cases about students making threats against schools in one town in the course of a few weeks.

Now days, it’s too easy and convenient for a child frustrated with school or friends to lash out on social media. Gone are the days of saying “I hate you” today and “I’m sorry” tomorrow.

A Threat vs A Joke

A 12-year-old female sent a text message to another student threatening to bomb her middle school. Real threat or not, she was arrested.

“The Juvenile Court Judge said, “Now I have a 12-year-old girl in lockup who’s never been in trouble before. It’s heartbreaking.”

The 12-year-old was sentenced to write an apology letter, serve 25 hours of community service, and pay restitution for costs resulting from the school evacuation. She was also ordered to continue receiving mental health counseling.

A 14-year-old male was arrested and charged with failure to report a crime. He had knowledge of who made a bomb threat but didn’t report it until after the threat was made and the school evacuated. He served 14 days in a juvenile detention.

  • The United States Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education published an interesting report on “Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence”. You can read more about this here: prior-knowledge

Three unrelated threats to bomb or shoot people at the high school resulted in the arrest of two males, one 14, the other 15 and one female age 14, all and spent time in juvenile detention.

Juvenile Court vs Adult Court

A 17-year-old male jokingly posted on social media he was going to use real ammunition in his high school’s Nerf Wars game where students shoot each other with foam bullets. Joke or not, he was arrested.

Luckily for the 17-year-old, his charge remained in juvenile court. The judge sentenced him to 20 days in juvenile detention, 100 hours of community service, a fine of $100 plus court costs, and ordered to complete the school year at a detention center.

If you found this interesting, you’ll want to read: Think Before You Post

What are your thoughts on how parents and schools can teach children the seriousness of their actions when making idle threats on social media? 

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime that you feel others should be made aware of – send me an email and we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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