PHOENIX – Over the past week several high schools in Maricopa County have been the targets of threats made through social media postings. Fortunately there does not appear to be substance thus far to these threats of violence. However, each and every threat had to be fully investigated by local law enforcement and even federal authorities. Many students chose not to attend class as a precaution against these threats.
“Any threat made to the lives of innocent students and the fear that such a threat evokes in children, school personnel and parents will never been seen as a joke,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “There seems to be a severe lack of understanding by the individuals behind these threats that such behavior is absolutely not a joke, and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” he added.
Four arrests of juveniles have been made in connection to these cases. The threats all appear to be unrelated, other than they were made through on-line platforms.
Those found in connection with these crimes can face a variety of charges including Hoax, which is a Class 4 felony, and Interfering with an Educational Institution, which is a Class 6 felony. If adjudicated of these charges, each juvenile could face time in juvenile detention, electronic monitoring, supervised probation, or commitment to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections.