Law enforcement stresses consequences for hoax threats toward sc - FOX34 Lubbock

Law enforcement stresses consequences for hoax threats toward schools

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LUBBOCK -

This year, there have been 23 shootings on school grounds that wounded or killed victims. The one in Santa Fe, hit close to home for Texas school districts, fielding hundreds of threats against their campuses.

"When there's a real situation that occurs somewhere else in the country, that tends to spark hoax threats to to occur elsewhere," Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens, said.

Since the Parkland school shooting, the FBI office in Dallas has investigated more than 700 school threats.  

"They think nobody's watching, but law enforcement is clearly watching," Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell said. "When those take place and if there's a threat we're going to take it very serious."

The FBI office in Dallas passes the threats onto Lubbock law enforcement.
    
"For each piece of information we receive we depend on our local partners and our state partners to ensure every lead is handled properly and to make sure everything is analyzed the way it needs to be and where necessary to be investigated and prosecuted," FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Aaron Tapp explained.

According to Powell, his office will investigate each case.

"It can mean anything from a misdemeanor up to a felony offense depending on what the nature of it is, depending on what the actions are, depending on what they do, it can be very serious. It can land you up to 20 years in prison," Powell stated.

"They'll be brought in, they'll be interviewed a threat assessment will be made and again as the district attorney just said if these substantial probable cause, we believe we can file a criminal case against them at that point, we'll certainly do it," Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe added.

Law enforcement agents stress, if you see a post, say something to authorities.

"Don't share it, don't spread it. If you see that, don't start forwarding it around and making it a mushroom cloud on social media. That's one of the worst things you can do. One because it makes it bigger, but two you then begin to engage in the crime yourself," Chief Stevens said.

Officers say it's not a joke, and parents should have the conversation with their kids at home.

"Whether you're upset over something that happened in athletics that day or band that day or math class, the answer is not to make a threat online or on Twitter or Instagram," Chief Stevens added.

"Even if you deleted them, they're not deleted. We're going to find them, but that takes a lot of resources and a lot of manpower that these men and women need to be focusing on crimes," Powell warned.

Agents say teachers and administrators often know students best. If you suspect any red flags, let them know.

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