They say that it was a hoax but, today, five Capitola, California seventh-graders are finding out just how seriously online threats are viewed.
The students all attend New Brighton Middle school. This past Saturday, a parent at the school came across an Instagram message in which the group was threatening to kill four students and a teacher.
Local police were alerted to the threat and began their investigation. They kids were interviewed in their homes on Sunday and, on Monday, all five were arrested and charged with suspicion of felony threats and felony conspiracy.
A search of the students homes didn’t turn up any weapons in their possession but, guns owned by some of the students’ parents were confiscated as a precaution.
New Bright Middle School has given all students a five-day suspension and is seriously looking at expulsions.
These kids might have believed that this was all a joke but, given our history of mass-shootings, in general, and school shootings, in particular, this is not something that authorities are likely to chalk up to youthful indiscretion.