Mountain View student facing charges over school threat

Mountain View student facing charges over school threat
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Mountain View High student is facing charges after sharing a threatening message on social media to try to get out of school, authorities said.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department said the student, who has not been named, posted an image showing "a faceless male with a gun in his waistband" on Thursday, March 8.

The photo also included the phrase "don't come to school tomorrow."

The PCSD said the threat was not credible and while security was increased, Mountain View held class as normal Friday.

"(We) would like to remind everyone that we take these threats seriously and investigate them all under the assumption they are legitimate," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "This requires an extraordinary amount of time and resources to accomplish, and greatly disrupts (our) function to respond to and investigate other matters. These incidents also spread fear and anxiety to parents, fellow students, and school staff hindering their ability to carry out normal daily activities. Any threats, whether credible or fake, will be treated as legitimate and anyone found to have made them will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The student is facing charges of threats and intimidation.

According to a statement from the Marana Unified School District, the school at 3901 W. Linda Vista Boulevard will continue on a normal schedule.

The image showed a gun with the words, "Don't come to school tomorrow."

Apparently, this image is being recirculated on various social media platforms.

Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick issued the following statement at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

After a comprehensive investigation, in collaboration with Mountain View High School administration, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department has identified the source of the social media threat and determined that there is no threat against our school. Their investigation however did result in an arrest of a student.

We have got to continue to work together in stressing to our children the seriousness of making threats. Law Enforcement agencies, our school, and the Marana Unified School District take safety concerns and threats very seriously. There are school and legal consequences for those who make threats to schools, staff and students. Even the act of repeating or reposting a threat or possible threat may result in that individual facing school, state or federal consequences and legal prosecution.

We are asking parents to assist in a few specific areas:

·  First, we are asking all families to take time to talk with their children about both the need to be watchful and mindful of what they see and hear, but also to come to their parents, law enforcement or school leaders should they have a concern.

·  Second, again, we ask all parents and students to be mindful of social media. False reporting or online rumors spread unnecessarily create fear and concern. If you see or hear of a threat, please report it immediately to law enforcement or school officials and do not engage in the spread of information via social media channels.

I also want to thank the vigilant parents and students who brought information forward and assisted with this investigation. By working in partnership, students, staff, parents and police will continue to provide safe and secure schools for everyone.

Thank you for your attention to this and for your ongoing partnership.

Todd Garelick
Principal
Mountain View High School 

In a separate incident on Friday, a 16-year-old was arrested after a threat was sent by text to another teen.

Police said person arrested in connection with the threat against Tucson Magnet High School is not a student at the school.

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