Making Threats Have Consequences

That’s one message in a video from FCPS, the Sheriff’s Office and Frederick Police.

Frederick, Md (KM) During the last month’s TikTok challenge, students were told to post videos of themselves making threats to their schools. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says it investigated 15 different threats to schools made over social media. Two juveniles were charged with threatening Ballenger Creek Middle School.

Following these incidents, the Frederick County School System, the Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick Police have released a video reminding young people to be responsible when using social media.

While some kids may have seen this as joke, Lt. Jason Deater, Commander of the Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers, says law enforcement takes any threat  very seriously. He says students making these threats could face more than just punishment from school administrators and their parents. “Along with receiving school-based consequences, threats of violence can lead to potential criminal charges to include threats of mass violence, interrupting school activities, misuse of electronic communications, and other criminal charges depending on the type and the scope of the threat,” he says.

Sergeant Rebecca Corrado with the Frederick Police says every threat is investigated by law enforcement agencies, and that includes contacting the person who made the threat to determine if it was credible, such as the individual making the threat did not intend to carry it out, or it was taken out of context. But when it’s deemed creditable,   she says police consult with the State’s Attorney’s Office about what charges to file.

Sergeant Corrado also says if you see a threat over social media, don’t re-post it. Tell a responsible adult. “Each threat is investigated. It can take a considerable amount of time to call each person reporting the same threat to ensure a new threat was not received,” Corrado says.

Parents need to play a part in their children’s use of social media. “Please talk with your children about responsible use of social media and electronic devices,” says Sergeant Corrado. “Monitor the   use of social media accounts, and know the password to each of your child’s  accounts and electronic devices.”

By Kevin McManus