Upstate mom talks tough love after she says she turned in son fo - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate mom talks tough love after she says she turned in son for making school threat

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Damon (Source: Kristy Kembrell) Damon (Source: Kristy Kembrell)

An Upstate mom is talking tough love after she says she found a school threat her son had made on his phone and turned him in to police, herself.

The Laurens County Sheriff's Office arrested 17-year-old Damon Kempster back on May 3, charging him with breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature.

His mom, Kristy Kempster, shared her son's story, what led up to his arrest, the struggles he's endured, and his fight with his own mental health.

"It breaks my heart, but it's what you have to do as a parent," said Kristy.

In a social media post, 17-year-old Damon Kempster made a school threat tagging 50 people, including his mom, Kristy Kempster, in the post, she said.

"He was going to shoot up a school," said Kristy. "It didn't say a specific school, but at the end of the day it said what it said, regardless of if he meant to say it or not."

Kristy said her son Damon has suffered from mental illness since he was 4-years-old.

"We've run the gamut of mental health diagnosis, the gamut of medications to help treat, we've seen numerous counselors, we've been in numerous placements," Kristy explained.

For his mom, however, those obstacles were still no excuse for Damon's actions.

"He can't use his disability as a crutch," said Kristy. "He can't use it as an scapegoat. I've always taught him that doesn't make him who he is."

After seeing the threatening message, Kristy tells us she called 911 and turned her son in for his threatening post saying it was the best thing to do.

"To me, that's just being a responsible parent," said Kristy. "Making sure our community is safe. Making sure our kids are safe. Regardless of if it gets our children in trouble or not, they have to suffer the consequences of their actions."

Damon is currently in jail, and that is where he will stay for now, according to Kristy. She says there, he will have time to think while she works to get him more help.

Her main goal from sharing Damon's story is to raise awareness for mental health, and despite her tough love, she says she'll never give up on him. 

"You just have to keep fighting because no one is going to fight and advocate for your kids like you are," said Kristy.

Damon's next court date is scheduled for June and that's when they will hear from a judge exactly what Damon's full punishment will be.

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