Police warn social media threats against schools could mean 20 years in prison

Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 16:19:55-05

Police and prosecutors are urging students not to make false school threats.

First Lt. Mike Shaw of Michigan State Police explained,"You think you're making a joke, 'hey let's shoot up the school' or something. That simple statement is 20 years off your life."

Michigan State Police are trying to get the word out, asking students to think twice before making a threat. Shaw said it is not uncommon to run into this issue during the school year.

"During finals week, someone didn't study like they were supposed to, maybe they think calling in a bomb threat."

Tuesday, Wayne-Westland Community Schools canceled classes after a threat was made. Police spent time and resources, including several K-9 officers, to clear the buildings.

Last year, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office issued at least 13 charges for making a false threat. In Oakland County, prosecutors issued 14 charges for making a false bomb or terrorism threat.

This year alone, Oakland County prosecutors have charged 5 cases of a false report of Terrorism & one case of false report of a bomb. This does not include the juvenile cases.

Shaw is asking parents to know what their children are posting online.

"You should know your kids' passwords for social media sites. You should randomly go in there and check to see what they have," he said.

Making a false terrorism threat is 20-year felony. If you're a teen charged as an adult, police say you can kiss your youth goodbye.

"That means your are going to prison for 20 years," Shaw explained. "That means no more high school, no college, no dating, no marriages, no kids, no nothing until you are 37-years-old, just because you wanted to be the funny guy or gal on social media."