Local News

La. teen made online threat against Fayetteville school

Posted October 6, 2013

— 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.


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  • smcallah Oct 7, 2013

    "how does a kid in Louisiana seriously plan to be in a Fayetteville, NC school on Monday? I'm confused."

    You're confused that cars can be driven over 1000 miles or buses can be ridden?

  • 678devilish Oct 7, 2013

    The father did absolutely the right thing in turning his son in. May this son learn his wrongness and become a better person than he is now.

  • 678devilish Oct 7, 2013

    Once they identify this student, this student should be expelled or punished in some manner. The school lost time, no student came to school and they even cancelled the homecoming dance. He should have to face his dire consequences.

  • The Hans Oct 7, 2013

    Hopefully the authorities searched the home and removed any and all weapons from it. And I don't care if the Dad turned him in - the parents need to face charges as well. Zero tolerance!

  • Scubagirl Oct 7, 2013

    good for you devilblue, wish more parents did that these days.

  • Wacky_dood Oct 7, 2013

    Glad to hear the boy's father did the right thing. Perhaps he'll turn out ok after all.

  • devilblue Oct 7, 2013

    If this had been my child I would have turned him also. Mainly, I taught my child right from wrong and the consequences for doing something wrong and incredibly stupid are his to learn from and suffer from. Tough love. Some kids need to know what that is.

  • Scubagirl Oct 7, 2013

    "how does a kid in La. know kids in a school in NC??? freweeln"

    I would use the term 'know' VERY loosely. With social media as it is kids 'know' folks all over the world. It's almost like a contest to see who can have the most 'friends'.

  • oleguy Oct 7, 2013

    EDMODO , Facebook,, Its all the same,,, This faceless society causes problems,,, I have seen teenagers Texting to each other 5 ft apart,, Why,, Are they ashamed of what they are saying,,

  • freweeln Oct 7, 2013

    how does a kid in Louisiana seriously plan to be in a Fayetteville, NC school on Monday? I'm confused. Yes absolutely this is not joke-worthy material and the kid should be locked up and sunk deep into therapy and absolutely I applaud the father but I'm STILL CONFUSED.. how does a kid in La. know kids in a school in NC???