La. teen made online threat against Fayetteville school
Posted October 6, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cumberland County sheriff's investigators said Sunday evening that a teenager in Louisiana was the source of a social media post that has put students and parents at a local high school on edge.
The message, addressed to Pine Forest High School's Class of 2014, was posted on the educational social networking site, Edmodo, over the weekend by someone who said he planned to "shoot up the school" on Monday and then kill himself.
Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, said Sunday evening that the father of a 15-year-old boy in Louisiana turned his son in to authorities earlier Sunday. She did not say where in Louisiana.
"The teen says it was all a joke that got out of hand on Facebook and Twitter," Tanna said.
The boy will be charged, she added, although she did not specify a charge.
"Sheriff Earl R. Butler wants the public to know that his office takes all threats of violence in our schools seriously and will continue to work to keep students and staff safe," Tanna said. "School officials have worked well with the sheriff's office during this scare to prepare in the event of a crisis."
The message, which also prompted school officials to cancel a homecoming dance Saturday night, claimed to be from a student who was being bullied, and it singled out certain people while promising not to shoot others.
"This is not a joke," the Edmodo post reads.
"What really gripped me the most was the part when he was naming the people that picked on him," said Bruce Butler, a Pine Forest freshman.
It wasn't clear if the people named in the post actually attend Pine Forest High School.
Additional deputies will be placed at Pine Forest High School this week to ensure parents that their children are safe, she said.
Patricia Harmon-Lewis, a spokeswoman for Harnett County Schools, said extra staff and law enforcement would be on campus Monday at Overhills High School in Spring Lake after a similar post on social media concerning that school.
"Our superintendent and staff are taking this very seriously, and we have taken precautions as we begin the school week," Harmon-Lewis said.
It was unclear whether the two threats are related. Calls to the Harnett County Sheriff's Office were not immediately returned Sunday.