OREM — A Lakeridge Junior High School student was arrested Friday for allegedly making a terroristic threat.
The boy, whose age and grade were not immediately available, made a social media post on Thursday that included a picture with a gun and warning to others not to go to school tomorrow, said Orem Police Capt. Craig Martinez. The boy was arrested for investigation of making a terroristic threat and booked into juvenile detention and the gun was recovered, Martinez said.
Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson said someone reported the boy on the SafeUT app and an arrest was made early Friday. He said once again, the adage of "see something, say something" worked.
Still, Stephenson admitted that the number of school threats being made on social media is "getting out of hand."
In Orem, it was the third such threat this week alone, Martinez said. All the threats were at different schools. No one was arrested in the other two incidents.
These types of threats traditionally pick up near the end of the school year, he said. But this year, Martinez said, all students and parents should know that any threat will be investigated aggressively.
"We've decided here in Orem, in talking with our county attorney, if kids do this, regardless of their age, and if it fits the statute ... they're going to go to jail," he said.
Martinez said there have been 10 such threats this school year in Orem.
Stephenson agrees that students and their parents need to understand this kind of behavior isn't funny.
"We would encourage all parents to please talk with your children about social media and make sure your children are aware that any kind of threat they put out is not a joke. And if they come back and say it's a joke, it's still going to be handled by the police departments in our district," he said.
The incident at Lakeridge Junior High is the latest in what has been an active year for threats in the Alpine District.
In March, an 18-year-old man who attends Lehi's Skyridge High School was arrested for investigation of making a terroristic threat. That student threatened to commit a mass school shooting, according to police.1 comment on this story
A second Skyridge student, who had just turned 18, was charged in March with making a threat of violence, a third-degree felony, after sending a Facebook message stating he was going to shoot up the school, according to the charges. The man claimed it was a joke, the charges state.
In April, a Lehi Junior High student was arrested for allegedly bringing a gun to school, according to police.
"We need our parents to please talk to their kids about the severity of what could happen if they participate in a threat through social media or other means," Stephenson emphasized.