PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Law enforcement leaders say it is happening every day. They are responding full-force to track down threats made by teens, often on social media.
Parents are getting letters all too often about threats against their child’s school.
“A threat is a crime, whether you intend to carry it out or not,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard warned.
Bouchard says it is a message that needs to get out to stop a disturbing trend of all too many threats.
Bouchard says a threat at South Lyon East High resulted in the arrest of a teen last week.
At East Hills Middle School, Bloomfield Township police found a student had a hit list at home as they investigated a threat this week Wednesday.
Also this week, the sheriff’s office arrested teens in Rochester Hills and Orion Township for threats against schools, and an Oxford Township teen for threats against Jewish people.
“He did have weapons in the home, live rounds in his bedroom. So that rises to a different level than the others,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard says the FBI contacted his office about the 14-year-old teen’s alleged posts on social media.
Attorney Corey Silverstein says he has represented several children in the past who made threats. He says families often regret not explicitly talking about what a threat is, the law and what the consequences can be for a child, their family and community. They assume their child would not do such a thing.
“Problem number one is parents aren’t talking to their kids at all,” Silverstein said.
The consequences can be severe, even if there is no intention to act on a threat. Children can face incarceration, a criminal record, lose access to school and experience barriers to employment as adults.
“These kids need to understand that,” Silverstein said.