A series of false school threats has several teenagers facing felony charges.
In the last few days, police have arrested four juveniles for posting fake school threats, and now kids as young as 12-years-old are facing felony charges.
“They copycats, the kids think it’s cool, and they need to learn that it’s not,” a local resident told 22News. “It hurts people.”
This week alone, hoax threats were posted online about four schools in Springfield. That’s in addition to false threats about schools in Chicopee, Holyoke and Westfield.
Brenda Jacques is a teacher with two daughters in Chicopee schools.
“It’s very unnerving to hear that something like that happens,” said Jacques. “I hope that it does dwindle down and come to a halt because it is, it’s very unnerving especially having my own children in school.”
Springfield Police spokesman Ryan Walsh said police have arrested three teens, and there could be more.
Walsh told 22News detectives find the teens by tracking their hoax post to the computers they’re using.
Such false threats can carry felony charges.
Walsh urges parents to talk to their kids about the seriousness of sending these harmful messages.
“I think the parents need to start, and teach their kids what the devastation it can cause,” Kathy Acos of Southampton told 22News. “Children don’t know. They’re young, they’re very naive, and I think we have to teach them as adults.”
Police have said none of these threats is credible, but they do investigate everyone of them, and have increased there visibility at schools this week to reassure students and parents.