Students, Social Media School Threats Will NOT be Tolerated
A Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested a 15-year-old student after he sent alarming and threatening videos via Snapchat referencing bombing a school. This is the second juvenile to be arrested for making social media threats like this in the past week. Parent are again asked to talk with their school aged children about social media and what’s appropriate.
On April 17, 2018, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Alexx Bullion contacted Liberty School District Superintendent Kyle Rydell regarding a school threat posted on SnapChat. Superintendent Rydell explained he was contacted by the parent of a student who received some alarming videos from another student via social media. The social media threats did not mention a specific school or a date/time.
The videos were of a 15-year-old student making a comment regarding sexual assault, as well as statements where he said a person wouldn’t “technically” be shooting up a school if they blew it up. He also appeared to act out both sides of a conversation/interview where he is being questioned about why he’s being contacted. He answers himself by saying, “No, not exactly.” to which he replies, “You shot up a school.” He then replies, “No, technically I didn’t hit the school” and refers to shooting students.
Deputy Bullion contacted the suspect and his mother. During the interview, the suspect said he knew why Deputy Bullion was at his home and admitted he made the videos but would not repeat what he said on the videos. When asked why he made the statements on the videos he replied, “Cause I thought it was funny.” He explained he had no actual plan to blow up a school, he only meant it to be humorous.
The suspect was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Facility where he was charged with Threats to Bomb or Injure Property, a felony.
We thank the concerned parent/student and Superintendent Rydell for immediately reporting these threats, allowing them to be quickly addressed. The safety of our children/students/staff and our community is a priority for all of us. It is truly heartbreaking to see some youngsters still believe it is funny or somehow appropriate to make threats about harming or shooting students or bombing schools.
Parents, we urge you to take the time to talk to your school aged students. Don’t assume they know or wouldn’t do something like this, please make sure of it.
Sheriff Knezovich has been very clear, “Spokane County will have a zero-tolerance policy for making threats toward shooting up a school or classmates and if you make such threats, we will arrest you.”
Washington RCW 9.61.160: Threats to bomb or injure property—Penalty.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to threaten to bomb or otherwise injure any public or private school building, any place of worship or public assembly, any governmental property, or any other building, common carrier, or structure, or any place used for human occupancy; or to communicate or repeat any information concerning such a threatened bombing or injury, knowing such information to be false and with intent to alarm the person or persons to whom the information is communicated or repeated.
(2) It shall not be a defense to any prosecution under this section that the threatened bombing or injury was a hoax.
(3) A violation of this section is a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.