OWASSO, Okla. - Owasso police have recommended a district attorney look into filing charges against a student who police said reportedly threatened to open fire on students at the Owasso Eighth Grade Center.
Owasso Police Sergeant Nick Boatman told FOX23 the student was not taken into custody or arrested, but the student could face charges for allegedly posting on a social media platform that he planned to carry out a school shooting.
The threat and potential charge is one of a string of threats that students across Green Country have reportedly made after the deadly massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school nearly two weeks ago.
Many of the students have stated they thought it would be a funny joke to post fake plans to start a school shooting, but law enforcement and the Tulsa County District Attorney's office have laid out what is essentially a zero-tolerance policy when dealing with recent threats. The policy comes after school lockdowns have both disrupted school days and have left parents and students in fear that they could be the next victim in another rampage.
Students who have been posting threats online have been charged with threatening a violent act, which can be classified as a felony if investigators prove suspects had a plan to back up the threat.
Owasso Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Amy Finchter told FOX23 the threats were investigated and there was no need for the school to go on lockdown as a result of that investigation.
Parents who wished to remain unidentified said to FOX23 they are still concerned that the student could carry out his plan on March 8, but others who knew the student said it was a cry for help, because of the student's past problems in his life.
"We want to let parents know what's going on," Finchter said, "because that's what we would want if our children were in that situation."
Finchter confirmed that officials sent a letter out to parents, but she was unable to tell FOX23 about the student's enrollment status or if he was been suspended or even expelled, because of privacy laws.
FOX23 got a look at the text of the letter:
Statement from the Owasso 8th Grade Center in response to an incident investigated on Thursday, February 22, 2018
It was reported to school administration that a student at the 8th Grade Center made some posts in a social media group chat that were considered insensitive and concerning.
Administration thoroughly investigated those concerns and communicated with every student and parent involved in the social media group chat. As is our protocol, OPD was made aware of these social media posts. Although there was speculation that a threat was made towards the students of the 8th Grade Center, it was determined that there never was a credible threat to students or staff at the 8th Grade Center.
Over the last several days, schools across the Tulsa metro are dealing with social media posts by those who have been insensitive to school violence and made comments as such. Any reports to school administration will be investigated thoroughly. Any substantial disruption intended to cause fear to our school community will result in immediate consequences. The safety and well being of students and staff at the Owasso 8th Grade Center remains Administration's top priority.
Alton D. Lusk
Owasso 8th Grade Center
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