It wasn’t long ago (in fact, it was Thursday) that we addressed the drain on resources when someone calls in a threat or makes a false claim that must be investigated by law enforcement.
It’s Sunday now and that very thing happened again on Thursday, when a Rosamond boy was arrested for making a social media threat.
The 15-year-old Desert Junior-Senior High student allegedly made the threats against fellow students via social media posts and went as far as to include himself as a target, to make authorities think it was someone else. Talk about going the extra mile to cover his tracks.
He created an Instagram account to carry out the threats and sent messages to three Desert Junior-Senior High School students, threatening to shoot and stab them at the next football game, which was scheduled for Friday night. The messages also threatened the same against the cheerleading team, in addition to rape threats geared toward them.
Investigators found that one of the victims was actually the person who sent the messages. He was booked into Juvenile Hall on two counts of criminal threats and one count of falsely reporting a crime.
Muroc Joint Unified School District officials issued a statement after the investigation findings, assuring everyone that there was no threat to the student body and that classes would be held, as scheduled.
Luckily there was no real threat, but one can only imagine what students, teachers and parents felt when they learned that someone was threatening to harm some of the school’s students.
No doubt, emotions ran the gamut from fear and anxiety to anger and resentment for the boy making the threats.
Too bad we can’t ask him what his motivation was for such actions. Did he want to stir the “pot,” to see what would happen?
This is a good example of this sort of behavior happening anywhere. While one might expect students at larger school to do something like this, we’ve had two incidents in the same week at smaller schools. The first was in California City earlier this week and now this one in Rosamond.
The students responsible for the threats need to be held accountable. What does that mean? Maybe they need to get some sort of counseling, if spending time in Juvie isn’t enough to set them straight.
Clearly, they are not in their right minds if they can think up threats against their peers, then go as far as to make those threats and cause a major disruption to the school day (or perhaps a sporting or extra-curricular event). If they are willing to make the threat, who’s to say they won’t make good on it?
So again, the big questions are: Why is this happening? Are these students so bored with life, that they need some excitement on a grand level? Did their parents have any idea that they were doing this or thinking about it?
Maybe the answer lies in social media use. Monitor children’s accounts and make sure they aren’t engaging in these types of activities. Though it might seem like an invasion of privacy, it’s important to know what your children are doing when they are using social media.
Threats are only a part of it. Oftentimes when teens or children go missing, it’s because they’ve been communicating with a predator on social media. It’s also important to know what types of things they are posting for the world to see. Are they sharing inappropriate photos? Personal information that could lead someone right to your house? Are they bullying a classmate?
Without monitoring their social media usage, how would you know any of this stuff?
These days, one of the duties of raising a child is to make sure they are not acting inappropriately on social media. Maybe a better idea is to make sure they don’t start using it too early — and when they do, monitor their accounts and educate them on how to conduct themselves. Not every child is capable of using those accounts responsibly.