Authorities to those making school shooting threats: "Don't do i - FOX Carolina 21

Authorities to those making school shooting threats: "Don't do it"

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(File/FOX Carolina) (File/FOX Carolina)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The aftermath of the Florida school shooting has left nasty side effects at area schools - copycat threats from those wanting to disrupt school.

Within the FOX Carolina viewing area, authorities report at least six threats have been reported since Wednesday's shooting.  Each was investigated and determined to be unfounded, but a number of them have ended in arrests.

For law enforcement, they say these threats are taxing on resources, and also unfortunate.

"These aren't joking matters to be had," said Lt. Patrick Fortenberry with Greer Police.

Fortenberry said even if the threat is to be unfounded, those who make those threats face serious charges.

"It is committing a crime," said Fortenberry.  "Whether or not someone intended it as a joke or not, if it is a credible threat, we investigate that.  And if we're able to make charges, it can have severe effects on that individual."

A minor who calls, texts, or messages a threat could face custody with the Department of Juvenile Justice, along with expulsion from school and weeks or months behind bars while the case comes through the court system.

The charges against an adult could be more serious, including federal charges.

"You will definitely be arrested," said Spartanburg-based lawyer John Reckenbeil.  "When you're using any electronic device, you're going across a federal wire, so now you can be looking at federal charges."

Officials say every threat is treated as real for the sake of public safety.  In most cases, law enforcement has a good track record of tracking the perpetrators of the threats down.

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