Law enforcement agencies in Kentucky say their resources are being strained by a rash of threats against schools following last week’s shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead.
Extra security is being added at many schools across the commonwealth where students have threatened violence, most often on social media.
The Logan County Sheriff's Office posted this warning on its Facebook page Tuesday night:
"If you are a student within the Logan County School System and you “post” or “share” anything that may be perceived as a “threat”, or anything that may be deemed as “menacing” towards students or the school itself, on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, or send by text, U.S. Mail, carrier pigeon or write it on a wall at school, we will investigate and we will find you."
According to the sheriff's office, a Snapchat post stated “the shooter will wait till everything calms down and then do it." An investigation revealed the post was not meant as a threat and was only the “opinion” of the juvenile.
On Monday night, a 16-year-old student was arrested after threatening to carry out a shooting and bombing at Todd County Central High School. Juveniles have also been arrested in Barren, Christian, Daviess, Laurel, and Pulaski counties, among others. Trooper Corey King with Kentucky State Police says the threats of violence are not taken lightly.
"Anybody who is found to be guilty and is charged, they get the full gavel," King told WKU Public Radio. "That's what we have to do in order to stop this."
King says, in many cases, students make the threats to get attention, a sense of empowerment, or in hopes of having school canceled. Most of the accused are being charged with terroristic threatening which carries a penalty of one to ten years in prison.
Law enforcement says it’s incumbent upon parents to monitor their teens’ online activity and warn them of the consequences of copycat threats.