Social Media Threats Hold Serious Implications, Authorities Say
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office says they will prosecute anyone making a threat to a school or an individual.
They said it doesn't matter why you make the threat, it's against the law.
The Rogers County Sheriff's Office along with other agencies arrested a 17-year-old boy after learning he told another student he planned to shoot up Sequoyah schools, Columbine style, on April 20th of 2018, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre.
They said the boy made the threat two years ago but the girl didn't tell a teacher until this week, given the recent school shootings and threats.
The Rogers County DA charged the boy as a juvenile with making a terroristic hoax.
He's the fourth Green Country teenager arrested in one day for making threats.
"There are no first amendment rights when it comes to threats," said Tulsa County Assistant DA Erik Grayless.
Grayless said the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office will prosecute anyone who makes a threat to a school or individual.
"You may think it's funny. You may think it's a joke. You may be crying for help. Regardless of your reason for doing it, you need to stop, because you will be prosecuted," Grayless said.
Prosecutors said just because something disappears from the screen in a few seconds or you delete it, law enforcement can still find you.
"We can pull IP addresses. They do not disappear into thin air. If you think you can do this on Snapchat and five seconds later, it's gone, you'll be severely wrong and we will prosecute you," said Grayless.
He said schools and police do investigate these threats and he urges parents not to be overcome by fear.
"Fear and anxiety that's produced from these little nonsense kids that are trying to mess with people, the fear is what they want," said Grayless.
The DA said making a threat could be a misdemeanor, but making a threat then doing something about it makes it a felony with up to 10 years in prison.