Inducing Panic

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #176: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an 18-year-old high school student.

Valentine’s Day will mark one year since the Parkland High School mass shooting in Florida where 17 people were killed. You’d assume students all around the U.S. knew about the shooting in record time. Social Media spreads news faster than news outlets.

And yet, with all the sadness and fear during that time, 14 days after the Parkland shooting, an 18-year-old high school student posted on social media a warning that he was going to kill two specific staff members on Monday.

Thoughtless

He cautioned—if others got in the way they’d die too.

Many people who saw the social media post called the police (slowly disbelief among teenagers is fading and see/hear something—say something is getting better). The state’s bureau of criminal investigation traced the IP address to the boy’s home.

A SWAT team searched the home on Sunday. Finding no weapons. The student admitted to making the threat on social media.

Repeat Offender

This was not the boy’s first time making threats. Two times he called in bomb threats on a middle school. As a consequence for one of those threats, a judge sentenced him to two months in a juvenile detention facility.

After SWAT searched the student’s home, he was arrested and charged with inducing panic—a second-degree felony.

Even though the teen had been arrested, more than 150 students were absent from school on that Monday.

In court, the student pleaded guilty to the felony charge of inducing panic and two misdemeanor counts of an aggravated menacing.

The Sentence

The judge sentenced the boy to two years in prison with the caveat if he behaved well for six months, he’d be able to apply to be transferred to the county jail to serve the remainder of his sentence. –No guarantees.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll want to read: Idle Threat 

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 you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about kids!

-Robin

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