MACOMB (WWJ) – One sheriff in metro Detroit has had enough with kids making threats against their schools. Since the deadly shooting in Florida, where 17 people lost their lives, threats against schools here at home have increased.
“Over the last two weeks, the sheriff’s office has investigated 13 complaints in five different school districts in which we are the law enforcement coverage there,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told WWJ’s Charlie Langton.
If caught making a threat, students face some serious punishment.
“As simple as posting online that they’re going to shoot up the school, or just some type of comment or conversation with another student, you know, ‘Why don’t we do something like what happened in Columbine or in Parkland?’ making reference to these horrific school shootings that have happened around the country — we go with the threat of terrorism which is a 20 year felony,” said Wickersham. “If they’re using their social media, telephone, computer, sometimes we add a telecommunications threaten charge, which is a six month misdemeanor.”
Parents, schools and law enforcement all have a responsibility in teaching kids that their actions have consequences, Wickersham said, but at the end of the day, students really just need to think before they act.
“If you really think it’s just going to be a joke, it’s not. We’re going to take it serious. If you think you’re going to get out of school and not have to take a test by sending a message or calling in a threat, a 20 year felony could be your consequence to that,” he said.
Wickersham said he understands teenagers face difficult situations these days, but making threats isn’t a way to solve problems.
“If you’re having an issue with somebody in school, talk to a counselor, go talk to a teacher, vet it that way, go talk to your parents. Don’t take it to social media on what you’d like to do to this individual, because that’s going to get you in trouble,” he said.