‘It has very real world consequences’ — DA warns against threatening schools


COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga., (WJBF) — The CSRA has seen a wave of school threats, which have led classes to be cancelled and schools to go on lockdown. What starts out as a prank, could be life-changing. Threatening a school could lead someone to be charged with making a terroristic threat.

“It has very real world consequences,” Bobby Christine, the District Attorney of the Columbia County Judicial Circuit, said. “n juvenile court, these children could be subjected to one month, 18 months and 24 months in jail.”

Older teens could face even harsher consequences. In Georgia, they can be charged as adults starting the day before they turn 17-years-old.

“A terroristic threat, which these are, could wind up being as much as five years incarceration for a 17-year-old in adult court.”

The charges may not stop there. More charges could be added if the threat is made over social media.

“The social media aspect of this adds another level of criminality. There are cyber-enhanced aspects of crime that can lead to additional charges…What some folks consider a platform for mere communication really becomes an instrumentality of crime.”

Parents could be charged as well.

“The Department of Family and Children’s Services, along with the juvenile court, may begin to drill into the circumstances that a child’s living in. If we find that they are without proper supervision, if they’re left to their own devices, these may be children in need of services and the parents may be held accountable. Children can even be removed from the home if the situation is desperate enough.”

Law enforcement asks parents speak to their children about the dangers of making these threats before a situation escalates.

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