Kearns police on Sunday investigated a Snapchat post that threatened gun violence against a junior high school.
A 13-year-old boy had posted a picture of himself with a rifle in his lap, with a warning “not to come to school on Monday,” according to a news release from Unified police on Monday.
A parent saw the post on a child’s phone and reported it to police, Unified Lt. Brian Lohrke said.
Coordinating with the Granite School District Police Department, officers found the student, who attends Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, and interviewed him and his parents.
The rifle in question is a pellet gun, and there was no immediate threat to the high school, according to Unified police. But the student may be charged with making a terrorist threat, which can be charged as a class B misdemeanor, a second-felony or a third-degree felony.
The 13-year-old has been taken out of the junior high and will start at an alternative program with the district, called sStep according to Ben Horsley, Granite School District spokesman.
This is the third threat of school shootings his district has responded to in the week and a half since a school shooting in Florida, he said, and there have been thousands before that.
None of the threats was found to be credible, he said.
“Clearly there’s an issue,” Horsley said. “It’s the whole charade over and over again. These kids think they’re funny, and it’s causing a lot of consternation.”
Last week, police investigated at least three similar threats at other schools in the state. In the three instances, police determined that the threats were either sarcastic or a joke, but authorities recommended that the students face charges.