Floyd Co. Prosecutor: Social media threats have consequences

Floyd Co. Prosecutor: Social media threats have consequences
Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - In a time when parents and school leaders across the country are worried about keeping children safe, threats continue to be made, acts which many would find unconscionable.

Those threats however, are coming with arrests. At least two juveniles have been charged in Bullitt County. Two teens are facing charges in Jessamine County and two teens in southern Indiana have also been arrested in connection with threats made there.

This is not something schools or parents want to put up with. The message from law enforcement is, if you make a threat on social media toward a school, you will be prosecuted.

"There's been a tremendous amount of interest from parents, from the public," Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said.

The shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, followed by the horror of Parkland, Florida has communities around the country in panic mode. It also has police and prosecutors reminding everyone, there's zero tolerance for school threats.

The first local threat of note happened February 16, when a 16-year-old posted a threat directed at New Albany High School and a couple of employees.

"We have somebody in custody and we have the right person in custody," said New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey.

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A boy, 15, is now charged after threats were made to New Albany Floyd County Schools and Greater Clark County Schools.

"The 15-year-old admitted that it was him and he didn't mean for that to be broadcast," Henderson said. "He was telling someone else, he was mad and he didn't want to carry through with any threat."

The prosecutor says kids must know there are consequences for putting threats on social media. He warned, parents should teach children responsibility, and check themselves instead of randomly sharing the threat causing fear and empty classrooms.

"This is real, effecting our children, effecting our schools," Henderson said.

The two teens are in detention and will be prosecuted as juveniles.

Threats are happening on both sides of the Ohio River.

The Bullitt County Sheriff charged a juvenile with making a possible threat there. And, Tristan Kelly,18, and Cody Ritchey, 19, face charges, after an online threat toward Jessamine County Schools.

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